The birth of a baby is certainly a reason to celebrate. Bringing new life into the world is nothing short of a miracle. The family dynamic will forever be different because of this snuggly bundle of joy. And while many new moms are overcome with love and adoration for their child, they can also be overwhelmed by the changes this new chapter of life brings. Symptoms known as the baby blues are extremely common. Still others experience more severe and long-lasting symptoms that result in a form of depression known as postpartum depression. If you are a new mom and feel overwhelmed, you are not alone! You can overcome these feelings of depression—in fact, if your baby is born in the winter months, you may have a greater chance of avoiding postpartum depression completely.
Postpartum baby blues commonly occur a few days after your baby is born and last up to two weeks. Baby blues tend to affect several new moms because the drop in hormones after birth rattles everything inside you! Not to mention adjusting to your new sleep schedule (or lack thereof). Symptoms of baby blues include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, crying, reduced concentration, appetite problems, and difficulty sleeping. Transitioning into life with your little one takes time, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at first. Ideally, you and your child will settle into a routine and you’ll gain confidence that, while you’ll never be perfect, you can handle your new role as mom!
Initially postpartum depression can easily be mistaken for baby blues. But symptoms are more intense, last longer, and eventually prevent you from being able to care for your child and manage other responsibilities. With postpartum depression, symptoms occur a few weeks after birth and may even show up months later. If left untreated, postpartum depression can grow into major depression and last for several months. Symptoms include depressed mood, severe mood swings, excessive crying, inability to bond with your baby, withdrawing from friends and family, extreme fatigue, reduced interest in activities you usually enjoy, intense irritability or anger, fear that you are not a good mother, feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, or shame, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and it does not mean you are unfit to be a mother. The drastic change in hormones linked with sleep deprivation and emotional changes may be reasons you experience these dark mood swings. Regardless of the causes, The Woman’s Clinic is available to help you navigate this new season of your life and help you get back to a healthy emotional state.
How the Seasons Affect Us
Researchers have discovered that women who give birth in the winter months are at lower risk for postpartum depression than women who give birth in the spring and summer. Studies have found that a new mom’s support system is crucial during the first few months and when the weather gets colder and the holiday season is upon us, people are more willing to show their support. Cooking meals, stopping by to spend time visiting with mom and baby are a few ways women feel loved after bringing their little one home. But in the summer months, many moms report feeling abandoned and trapped at home while everyone else’s life is moving along at full speed. During the winter months, indoor activities occur naturally and the darker days are more suitable for staying indoors. Most women do find themselves at home for the majority of the day after giving birth. This is necessary for your recovery and adjusting to your baby’s sleeping and eating schedule. But researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston relates a vitamin D deficiency with increased postpartum depression. In warmer months, it’s important to call a friend and practice loading the stroller so you and your newest family member can get outside for a little while.
Whether you give birth in the winter or summer, take advantage of those offering to help or keep you company while you rock your little one to sleep. If you experience feelings of baby blues or postpartum depression, be honest with your doctor. Don’t suffer alone. Contact us at The Woman’s Clinic to meet with a doctor at either our Jackson or Madison office. Your well-being is vital so that you can give the best care to your new child.