You probably know someone who has recently given birth. A sister? A friend? A coworker? How are they feeling emotionally? Are they feeling strong or are they suffering in silence? More than one in ten women experience postpartum depression in the year after giving birth, and it’s only one of many mood disorders that women encounter during this fragile time. Some experts say that the statistics are actually much higher but go unreported due to stigma and lack of awareness.
When a new mother experiences mental health challenges, it not only affects her own health but that of the baby. Additionally, a study conducted by the World Health Organization found that women with postpartum depression were twice as likely to experience depression four years after giving birth and were more likely to suffer from chronic illness.
For the long-term health and wellbeing of both the mother and child, it is important to encourage new moms to seek out mental health services if they are struggling after childbirth. It is also a good idea to monitor your loved ones after giving birth and to keep an eye out for any signs of a problem, in case the mother is unable to identify or disclose on her own. Signs of postpartum mood disorders include:
- Irritability or anger
- Lack of interest in hobbies
- Trouble creating an emotional connection with baby
- Thoughts of harming oneself or baby
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Increased levels of sadness or emptiness
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of a perinatal mental illness like postpartum depression or anxiety, there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help. Victress, A Wellness Center for Women, 7120 W. 127th Street, Palos Heights, Illinois, provides behavioral health services by licensed counselors, both in-person and virtually.
Victress, a women’s wellness center, has a vision to empower every woman and girl that enters its doors, providing each with the tools and skills necessary for accomplishing a unique set of goals. To schedule an appointment, please call 708-428-2527 or visit www.victresswellness.com.