My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for some time. When we discovered we were having a son we were over the moon. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy about 3 months ago. The problem is that for the last 3 months I have felt unhappy, moody and anxious. I cry all the time and find it extremely difficult to bond with my baby. I’m disappointed and resentful, and feel really guilty about feeling like this.
I’m so glad that you decided to write to me. Giving birth to a baby can trigger a whole range of emotions. You have been through a lot both emotionally and physically and your hormones are constantly changing. This does sound like it could be post partum depression.
Many women suffer from what we call the “baby blues” after pregnancy. This involves many of the symptoms that you listed above: mood swings, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, and prone to tears. The baby blues tend to go away within a few weeks; from your letter it sounds as if you’ve been feeling this way for some time now.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Many mothers experience symptoms of depression within the first year of giving birth. Some of the symptoms of postpartum depression are:
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping a lot
- Sadness and crying
- Extreme tiredness
- Feeling unable to love your baby
- Moodiness and Irritability
- Disinterest in things that used to be pleasurable
- Anxiety and guilt
- Feeling emotionally numb and empty
- Changes in appetite
There are many other factors that need to be considered and therefore it is difficult to say whether or not you have post partum depression without meeting you in person. My suggestion is that you seek professional consultation with a psychologist. Seeking treatment for postpartum depression from a professional therapist will provide you with the added support and tools that you need right now to be able to get through this difficult time. I want to reassure you that going through this does not mean that you are a bad mother. You CAN get through postpartum depression with treatment.
In the mean time, make sure you get plenty of rest, try to eat healthily, exercise a little every day and seek support from your friends and family. The most important thing – be kind to yourself. Not critical. Remind yourself of all the things you have done well, not focusing on the little things you may have got wrong as a new mother. Remember, you’re not trained for this job, and just have to muddle along, doing the best you can.
Searching for help for postpartum depression?
Please do not hesitate to call us at 2523 8044 to book an appointment or speak on the telephone.