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How Postpartum Issues Affect Your Mental Health

Although giving birth is usually a joyous occasion, pregnancy, delivery, and aftercare strain the mother’s body physically and mentally. While you may want to smile and cuddle your little one, cherishing the happy moments, the mind may signal other feelings: triggering sadness, nervousness, and fear. These upsetting emotions interfere with your health and are often associated with postpartum depression and anxiety.

According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 1 in 7 women may have a mood disorder after giving birth. It’s common, and it’s exceptionally hard for mother and child. Understanding the signs of mental health concerns and why the postpartum period is connected to these changes is essential.

What Are Common Causes of Postpartum Troubles?

When you’re growing a baby, your body undergoes numerous changes. Okay, you expected your belly to get big. But were you anticipating significant hormonal swings? The movies don’t exaggerate much when they showcase pregnant women shouting at others, crying hysterically, and being more demanding. It’s not you: it’s the hormones.

Your female hormones shift throughout the trimesters, and when you give birth, they drastically alter yet again. It’s a roller coaster ride that can leave you feeling lost and not your usual self. According to Mental Health America, postpartum women may find their serotonin levels drop. This hormone is a chemical messenger that assists with nerve signals. When it’s too low or too high, it can interfere with mood.

Hormones may be a primary factor, but other elements could also impact how you feel. Becoming a parent or adding another child changes the home and personal dynamics. It’s a significant change that can add a great deal of stress. Some births aren’t easy. Women may want a natural delivery but require surgery. Some babies refuse to nurse, making it harder to connect. Medical challenges during delivery as well can add unexpected pressure and tension. These complex situations can compound, leading to postpartum complications.

What Are the Symptoms of Postpartum Issues?

The postpartum phase of childbirth impacts your mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), women may struggle to connect with their children, experiencing a sense of disconnection and isolation. In addition, increased anxiety is possible with intense nervousness or worry. For some, this may elevate blood pressure and bring on anxiety attacks. Mothers who have rarely found themselves troubled may have additional concerns about how to raise their kids or make the right decisions, frequently doubting themselves and their abilities.

Your mood can swing dramatically during the day. One second you may experience anger, and an hour later, you could find yourself crying over something serious or minuscule.

Eating and sleeping habits may change, too. You could devour bags of chips, consuming calories to hide the guilt and fear, or you may forget to eat or lose interest in mealtime. Sleep can be similarly affected. Some people are exhausted when heading to bed, but the mind doesn’t stop. Therefore, slumber remains elusive. The opposite can occur, too. It may be hard to get out of bed as you feel overcome with lethargy.

How Can You Get Help?

Locate professionals who understand the condition. Read google reviews for doctors and see what other patients say about their visits. Physicians may have different approaches to the condition. Some may take a more holistic approach, and others may turn to pharmaceuticals. It’s essential to know the medical professionals’ reputations, feel comfortable in the office and ask questions. Don’t hold back how you feel.

Postpartum issues aren’t unusual. Many women experience them, and they dramatically affect mental health. The stress of delivery and hormonal changes can cause many mothers to feel down on themselves. They can also alter eating and sleeping patterns that impact health and mood. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re struggling. Postpartum issues affect how you live your daily life and view your motherhood. Understand it’s a physical reaction changing your mind, and talk with professionals about how you feel.

Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

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About the Author: Carol Evenson is a loving mother of three, an aspiring writer, and a social activist. She enjoys educating and learning and loves sharing her knowledge with her family and friends.

rtor.org and Our Sponsor Laurel House, Inc. Celebrate Pride in June

On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, sparking a riot and six days of protests. This incident, known as the Stonewall Uprising, marks a turning point in the gay rights movement, now celebrated as Pride Month in June.

This Pride Month, www.rtor.org and Laurel House affirm their commitment to supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community in their quest for equity and justice, especially in their fight for accessible, safe health and mental health care.

www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice, and to making mental health services available to all.

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The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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