Postpartum Depression & Mood Disorder – What New Moms Need to Know
Postpartum depression and mood disorder is a common experience for new moms. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions, unexpected changes in behaviors, or intrusive thoughts after having a new baby, you may be experiencing postpartum mood disorder. The good news is – it’s really common. The bad news is – that doesn’t make it a great experience. This blog outlines some of the basics about postpartum depression and mood disorder, but don’t hesitate to get in touch with Behavioral Health Alliance if you have questions or want to learn more about how therapy can help.
What Is Postpartum Depression & Mood Disorder?
You may have heard of postpartum depression or the baby blues. These terms are used to describe a range of mood disorders experienced by many new mothers. Research indicates that as much as 85% of new moms will experience some form of postpartum mood disorder. This may include intense feelings of:
- Depression, sadness, hopelessness, or low mood
- Irritability and mood changes
- Intense anger
- Struggles with sleeping or eating
- Intrusive thinking that may include thoughts of self-harm or causing harm to the baby
Why Does Postpartum Mood Disorder Happen?
Any big life change has the potential to lead to changes in mood and behavior, so it’s no surprise that so many new moms struggle with mood disorders. Having a new baby changes your life dramatically. Even if it’s not your first child, a new baby means less sleep, increased stress, physical pain and discomfort, and other changes that will impact how you feel. Many new moms also feel overcome by societal pressure to feel a certain way after giving birth. If they’re not able to instantly bond with their newborn or have a tough time with feeding or other aspects of childcare, new moms can struggle with a sense of failure or imposter syndrome.
Should I consider Therapy for Postpartum Mood Disorder?
If you have a good support network and you don’t have any worries that you’ll harm yourself or your child, you may be able to get through the short-term impact of postpartum mood disorder without seeking therapy. You know yourself. Monitor your thoughts and behaviors. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. There’s so much stigma related to mental health that deters new moms from reaching out to a therapist, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with receiving this beneficial support at a really challenging time. If you are struggling after bringing your new child home, you never have to go through it alone. One of the best things we can do for our children is prioritize keeping ourselves healthy. This ensures we’re able to offer them the best care, and it also models the behavior of prioritizing self-care for our children.
How Do I Get Started?
If you’re interested in working with a therapist at the Behavioral Health Alliance for therapy related to postpartum and perinatal mental health and wellness, we would love to hear from you. You can get in touch by calling or emailing our office or simply taking a few moments to fill out our initial contact form.