Posts Tagged ‘postpartum depression’

Your body after baby

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

young-woman-walkingKate, the Duchess of Cambridge, looked radiant as she presented her little Prince to the world for a first glimpse. You may have noticed her baby bump. It begs the question…what happens to your body after you give birth?

Lots of things are happening to your body right after you give birth, especially for the first 6 weeks! Your body is changing again. Some of these changes are painless; others may be uncomfortable.

During pregnancy, your uterus grows to hold your growing baby. After your baby is born, your uterus shrinks back to its regular size. But, it takes some time for your belly to get back to its regular shape after pregnancy. It took time to gain the weight and it will take time to lose it. But don’t get discouraged! Be active and eat healthy foods to help you lose the baby weight. Start slowly, perhaps with a daily walk, and listen to your body as you gradually become more active. And, be sure to ask your provider if you have any issues that you need to be aware of before you increase your activity or begin to exercise.

If you had swelling while pregnant, it may take a while for it to go away after giving birth. Lie on your left side or put your feet up. Stay cool and wear loose clothes.

Your breasts swell, too, as they fill with milk. This is called engorgement, and it can be painful. Once you start breastfeeding, the swelling should go away. If you’re not breastfeeding, it may last until your breasts stop making milk.

Breastfeeding your baby helps your body, too. It increases the amount of a hormone in your body called oxytocin. This helps your uterus (womb) go back to the size it was before you got pregnant. It also helps stop bleeding that you have after giving birth. And, it burns extra calories. This helps you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.

Many women feel unprepared for postpartum health issues. For instance, many experience breastfeeding problems, hair loss, hemorrhoids, mood swings, and anxiety. Not all women have these problems, but they are fairly common. All the physical changes and demands of your new baby can make you really emotional, too. Feeling stressed and tired all the time are common for new moms. Some women have the baby blues for a few days after giving birth. If these sad feelings last longer than 10 days, tell your provider. You may need to be checked for postpartum depression.

Remember, it’s normal to feel some discomfort, like soreness and fatigue, as your body heals after giving birth. However, other discomforts and health problems may be a sign that you need medical care. Know the warning signs and be sure to seek help when you need it.

In time, your body should return to “normal.” Every woman is different – there is no one time clock or standard that you should compare yourself to. If you know what to expect, give yourself time and are patient, you will find that it will happen. In the meantime, enjoy every luscious moment with your little prince or princess!

How blue are the blues?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

After the baby is born, many new moms have the “postpartum blues” or the “baby blues.” The word “blues” isn’t really correct since women with this condition are happy most of the time. But compared to how she usually feels, a new mother can be more irritable, cry more easily, feel sad and confused.

Lots of things are happening right after you have a baby. You may feel worried or overwhelmed. You have so many questions. Why is the baby crying? Is he getting enough milk? Why doesn’t he sleep more at night? Now that your baby’s here, you’re probably going through some emotional changes.  It’s common for new moms to feel very stressed.  There’s so much to do and learn. For couples, a new baby in the house also brings changes. While you’re adjusting, your partner is too.

The postpartum blues peak three to five days after delivery. They usually end by the tenth day after the baby’s birth. Although the postpartum blues are no picnic, the mother can function normally. The feeling of the “blues” usually lessens and goes away over time.

Medical experts believe that changes in your hormones after delivery cause the postpartum blues.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women do these things to help relieve the “postpartum blues”:
• Talk to your partner or a good friend about how you feel
• Get plenty of rest
• Ask your partner, friends and family for help
• Take time for yourself
• Get out of the house every day, even if it’s just for a short while
• Join a new mother’s group and share your feelings with the women you meet there

If the symptoms last for longer than two weeks or worsen, you may have postpartum depression.  This is a serious medical condition requiring treatment.

Dads get depressed, too

Friday, May 21st, 2010

32439603_thb1About 1 out of every 8 women has postpartum depression after delivery. It is the most common complication among women who have just had a baby. Did you know that dad’s can experience it, too? While it’s true that she’s the one who gives birth, having a baby is a significant life changing event that can cause depression in men. New research indicates that up to ten percent of new dads experience postpartum depression, with the highest rates occurring in the three to six month range after baby arrives. These rates seem to be the highest among men who are stay at home dads and those whose partners are also experiencing postpartum depression. For more information, read our fact sheet, Postpartum Depression.

I’m NOT sexually dysfunctional. I’m just really tired.

Monday, April 5th, 2010

63323191_thbI don’t need medical treatment. I’m not depressed. There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t need to be “fixed”. It’s just a stage we’re going through as a new family. What I do need is some time, some rest and a little understanding. I haven’t slept through the night in 424 days. I’m still nursing at night. I brush my teeth with a baby on my hip. I am preoccupied and my priorities have shifted. And, I don’t see this as a bad thing either. This is the most important role I’ve ever played. I still love my husband, but I’m distracted. It’s hard to relax and focus on him knowing that the baby might wake up any minute. It won’t always be this way. We’ll get it back.

Why do I bring this up? Read for yourself by clicking here and let me know what you think. I came across this article and I’m feeling a little defensive about the topic. I can only speak for myself, but medication? Come on. It’s only natural to abstain from sex after a baby is born. We need medicine for this? A co-worker (DGR…you’re too funny) suggested jokingly, “perhaps they should make a medication for him to reduce his urges and let his poor wife get some sleep.”  HA! What are your thoughts on this…and let’s keep it clean folks ; )

Depression after pregnancy

Monday, August 25th, 2008

You’ve gone through nine months of anticipation, long hours of labor and delivery and now you have a beautiful little baby.  So how come you feel so sad?  This is supposed to be a really happy time, so why are you feeling so down in the dumps? You’re not alone.  Many women experience the baby blues after the birth of a child.  It usually lasts just a few days to a week.  Researchers think it may be due to the rapid shift in a mother’s hormones after birth.  Some tips for coping include napping when the baby naps, asking family members and friends to pitch in, and connecting with the other new moms you met in childbirth classes or at the hospital.

While feeling the blues for a few days is normal, depression lasts longer and is more serious.  It can include fear, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, eating, making decisions or even coping.  Feelings of worthlessness may exist.  You may not even want to pick up your baby.  If this sounds like you or someone you know, you’re not alone and there is help available to get you back on your feet. Here is a link to a great site about depression during and after pregnancy that has been of tremendous help to lots of women.  It’s an excellent place to start getting answers and the help that’s needed.