Postpartum Depression | Fit Pregnancy

Postpartum Depression

moody blues

Everything seemed normal during Sherryl Hartman’s pregnancy and labor five years ago. Her son was born healthy, and she had plenty of support from family and friends in her town of Elkridge, Md. A few days after delivery, however, the then-26-year-old Hartman began to feel depressed. “I just started bawling like a baby,” she says. Late-night panic attacks soon followed: Hartman’s heart would race and she would feel anxious and overwhelmingly emotional. It was difficult to control her strong urge to leave the house—and her newborn.

Mood Swings

Mood-Swings

It's normal to experience a roller coaster of emotions after childbirth, says Steven Dubovsky, M.D., professor and chairman of the psychiatry department at State University of New York in Buffalo. Not only are your hormones still running high, but your entire life has changed. You have a new identity and more responsibilities. You might be overcome by the magic of childbirth yet regret that it did not go as planned (especially if you had a Cesarean section). You might feel insecure about being a parent.

Predicting The "Baby Blues"

Measuring the levels of a hormone in the placenta during pregnancy might predict whether a woman is likely to develop postpartum depression, Reuters reports.

You Have To Take Care Of You, Too

Pregnancy was the healthiest time in my life. With baby on board, I finally found the motivation I needed to eat right, get enough rest and exercise. But the minute I delivered my son, my focus shifted entirely to him. I wanted the best for him, 24/7, and put myself entirely at his service. What new mom wouldn't?

From Bliss to the Blues

Trang Burnett describes herself as rational and not prone to knee-jerk emotional reactions. Yet, when the Tampa, Fla., mother was pregnant with now-2-year-old son Bryson, all bets on her moods were off. "TV commercials really affected me—happy or sad, they always made me cry," recalls Burnett, 36.

Sound familiar? While pregnant, you will experience a gamut of emotions—many of which may be completely new to you. After delivery, the emotional roller coaster ride continues.

Body & Soul

When Amy Buresh brought her newborn son, Noah, home from the hospital a year ago, she felt completely overwhelmed. "After about 13 hours of labor, I ended up having a C-section and was recovering from that as well as learning how to nurse, surviving on little sleep and trying to take care of Noah," says Buresh, who lives in Lincoln, Neb. "It was a little scary."

The Scoop on Fish and Mercury

Part of putting your Supermarket Smarts to work is to make informed choices when eating fish and seafood during pregnancy. Although you should limit or avoid eating certain types of fish during pregnancy, there are still plenty of healthful options in the seafood department. There you can find lean sources of protein and healthful omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat Better

The more nutritious your prenatal diet is, the better off you and your baby will be. So those extra 300 daily calories (yup, only 300, and only in your second and third trimesters!) should be carefully chosen. And here's a thought: Keep up the good eating once your baby is born. Because before you know it, your little one will be reaching for what's on your plate. If any of the bad habits described here sound familiar, now's the time to lose them for good.

Colic Linked To Postpartum Depression

One in three women with inconsolable babies reports feeling depressed, says research on nearly 3,000 new moms. "I see a lot of fussy babies," says researcher Pamela High, M.D., a clinical professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School in Providence, R.I., "and the mothers are worried, anxious, tired and depressed." High's study is the first to establish a link between colic and postpartum depression in a demographically diverse group of women. She advises a new mom to recruit others to help, and to set aside time every day to be off-duty.

IVF Linked To Depression

Undergoing fertility treatment is stressful enough, but women who conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF) might have more tough times ahead once they become moms. While only 1.5 percent of women in the general population undergo IVF, Australian researchers found that 6 percent of women who sought help for postpartum depression and early-parenting problems had conceived using this method. Women who get pregnant with IVF should be forewarned that they could need additional support after delivery.

Page: