Whether you’ve just had your first baby or your third, you probably have so much going on that it’s hard to know what is a normal amount of stress.
This is a stressful time, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, worried, tired, and moody. That being said, it isn’t normal to feel like there’s no escape from these emotions – to feel like your old self has been lost and that you are trapped with no way of getting on top of things. It is not normal to feel no hope or enjoyment, to be angry all the time, or to be unable to sleep, even when you’re exhausted and your baby is asleep.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry — while this is not normal, it is common, and postpartum depression and anxiety are very treatable. If you are worried about how you are feeling, it is important to talk with someone you trust, and let them know how you feel. This is not your fault, you are not alone, and with help, you will get better.
How to Recognize Postpartum Depression and New Parent Anxiety
It can be difficult to tell the difference between postpartum depression and general new parent anxiety.
Here are some normal things you might experience during your first month as a new parent.
Normal experiences for new moms
- Feeling tired and drained
- Feeling a lot of mixed emotions, with periods of crying
- Feeling overwhelmed and anxious (but you can be reassured)
- Change in appetite
- Some loneliness and feeling isolated
- Frustration with others
So, when is it not normal?
I want you to remember something important here: you know you better than anyone else – if things feel off and you don’t feel like yourself and haven’t for quite a while, trust yourself.
These are some signs to pay attention to and that may indicate that you are dealing with more than the baby blues.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
- Extreme fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Intense mood swings and persistent negative emotions
- Lack of interest in the things that you used to enjoy
- Feeling trapped and as though things will never get better
- Scary, repetitive, and intrusive thoughts
Any persistent negative, uncomfortable feelings that last beyond the first month and don’t seem to be getting better on their own are a good reason to seek help.