During pregnancy and after the birth or adoption of your baby, you may feel happy and excited. It is normal for new parents to have lots of different feelings and emotions.
It is common to experience the "baby blues" which can include crying for no apparent reason, rapid mood swings (happy one minute and sad the next) and feelings of anxiety. These feelings usually don't last more than a couple of weeks, but for some mothers these feelings may get worse or not go away. This might be depression.
Depression can begin in pregnancy, right after birth or anytime within the entire first year after birth. Up to one in five women experience a significant depression in pregnancy and/or following childbirth.
What to watch for: The symptoms can range from mild blues to total despair.
- Feeling sad, anxious or crying a lot
- Feeling guilty, worthless or hopeless
- Finding it hard to focus or concentrate
- Feeling like you have no energy
- Not wanting to be with your family or friends
- Not enjoying life like you did before
- Not enjoying time with your baby
- Having panic attacks, excessive worrying, obsessive or scary thoughts
- Feeling inadequate or resentful towards the baby
- Feeling more angry or irritable than usual
Take gentle care of yourself
- Be kind to yourself
- Find someone to talk to
- Ask for help from your family and friends
- Try to get as much sleep as you need, including naps
- Choose healthy foods like fresh fruits & vegetables, lean meats (and other protein foods such as cheese and tofu), low fat dairy products, and whole wheat bread and try to eat regularly
- Try your best to find time to exercise
- Find time for you to relax - even if it is just for a few minutes to put your feet up or go outside for some fresh air