postpartum mom

Why Do New Moms Get Depressed After Giving Birth?

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The moment you become a mother, the world is at your feet, and you feel empowered to be a super mom. But as time goes by, life gets back to being mundane and monotonous once again. There are many reasons why new mothers feel depressed after childbirth, some of them being:

Inability to bond with baby

The first few days after birth are crucial as the bonding process must begin as early as possible. Many women have reported feelings of disconnect from their babies soon after giving birth because they have been through so much pain and emotional trauma during labor that a feeling of not wanting to touch their newborn has taken over. This might sound strange, but it is a real problem, and the only way to overcome it is by spending time and effort creating that intimate and personal bond.

Trouble with breastfeeding

The first few days after giving birth are spent learning how to breastfeed the baby. After a young mother has gone through pain and discomfort to deliver her child, she is in no mood to deal with the difficulties of breastfeeding. However, if you are having problems with breastfeeding, do not carry this feeling inside you because it can lead to severe psychological issues such as feelings of guilt and anxiety.

Inability to cope with day-to-day chores

The responsibilities after childbirth must be divided between both parents because no one person can handle everything alone. Unfortunately, when there is only one parent taking care of everything, life becomes overwhelming. Both men and women must share housework and childcare, or else new mothers will feel stressed out, which leads them to depression.


The pressure of being a new mother is tremendous, and all kinds of decisions must be made accordingly. However, many women lack confidence in making decisions which leads them not to decide at all. This indecisiveness can lead to problems such as depression.

frustrated mom

Loss of independence

A woman feels proud after giving birth, but her journey towards motherhood doesn’t end there. The real challenge begins with the transformation from ‘I’ to ‘we.’ A new mother becomes accountable for her child’s wellbeing and cannot think about herself anymore because everything she does reflects on her children’s lives too. Many mothers feel this loss of independence which makes them sad and depressed.

Emotional numbness

Due to hormonal changes after childbirth, some women feel emotionally numb. Their inability to trust people and feel genuine happiness gets transferred onto the child, resulting in behavioral difficulties such as tantrums and lack of social skills, which further leads to depression.

Sexual dissatisfaction

After labor, one feels tired, which makes intimacy with the spouse difficult. The new mother cannot tolerate her husband’s touch because it reminds her of all the pain she has gone through during childbirth. This sexual dissatisfaction can lead to depression among women after childbirth as they might begin to think about their looks as sexual attractiveness is an essential part of any relationship.

Lack of support from family members

Many times mothers deal with psychological problems such as postpartum depression on their own without anyone helping them out. This can be very depressing for any new mother.

Heavily crowded environment

Many modern women feel more comfortable in rather crowded environments, but mothers must spend some time alone with their newborns after childbirth because this helps them bond. If the child is around people all the time, they might become socially awkward and depressed.

Hopefully, these causes of depression among new mothers will make you aware of this sad state of affairs. Please try to help out your fellow parents by spreading awareness about postpartum depression and its effects on babies and young children who are impressionable enough to pick up negative behavioral patterns early on in life.

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frustrated mom

How to avoid new mom depression

Here are the things you could do to avoid postpartum depression.

Mom’s mental health is one of the most critical factors that affect the baby. According to studies, women who suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression during pregnancy are at a higher risk for developing postpartum depression than those who don’t. Some of the risk factors that contribute to developing new moms’ Postnatal Depression (PND) or Postpartum Anxiety Disorder include:

a) Personal history with PND – if you’ve experienced it before, your chances of getting it again double.

b) Psychological distress before and after conception – having mental problems even before conceiving increases the risks, and unusual changes in sleep patterns after conceiving can affect your mental state.

c) Having low social support – generally, the people around you are the ones who will notice changes in your mental health, so they’re one of the factors to consider when it comes to new moms’ depression.

d) Being pregnant for nine months – most women experience stress during pregnancy; this is normal, but if most of these stresses linger on even after the baby is born, then there’s a bigger chance that you’ll suffer from anxiety or postpartum depression.

e) Unplanned pregnancy – according to researchers, unplanned pregnancies can cause depressive symptoms. This is because women with planned pregnancies tend to be better organized and have more emotional and psychological preparedness for motherhood than those who weren’t planning to have a baby.

f) Being unemployed – women without jobs and those with low income have more than twice the chance of developing anxiety or depressive symptoms than those working and earning enough for their family’s needs.

g) Less education – lack of education is another risk factor for postpartum depression. To avoid this, make sure you see your doctor as soon as possible after giving birth so you can be evaluated and treated accordingly.

h) Drug addiction – if you’re an addict, having a baby doesn’t mean that you’ll stop taking drugs during pregnancy; most likely, you’ll find ways to continue using them like experimenting on new drug combinations or getting it from someone else (even if you’re breastfeeding). This is very dangerous for you and your baby because it can cause congenital disabilities or even death.

i) Having a history of abuse – being abused physically, emotionally, sexually, or psychologically before pregnancy can affect the chances of having postpartum depression after giving birth. If you experienced any of these things in the past, don’t hesitate to tell your doctor about them to help you cope with your situation.

j) Having family members with mental illness – new research reveals that if one member of the family has some mental health disorder, then there’s a big chance that other family members will be affected, especially if they are genetically predisposed. If this applies to you, share it immediately with your doctor so you can be evaluated and treated accordingly.

So, now that we’ve talked about the things that contribute to new mom depression, here are some of the things you could do to avoid getting it:

Join support groups

Talking to women who’ve experienced what you’re going through right now will help you stay positive and give you a good idea of how to handle your situation. You’ll also learn what kind of healthy behaviors helped them get out of depression and live positively again as productive members of society. Don’t hesitate to join a group, whether online or in real life.

Prepare a list of healthy coping behaviors

Write down things that have helped people who have been in your situation before and add them to your daily routine. It can include anything from exercises, watching TV together with the baby, or doing some household chores together with your husband. If you want specific ideas, browse through support groups and ask for advice from women who’ve been in your current situation before; they’ll know what works best for them and will gladly share it with you.

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Talk about it

Don’t be afraid of telling people around you that you’re going through something challenging because by admitting it, others will work harder in helping you stay positive. They will also learn to appreciate the little things you do every day, so be sure to tell them how much you love being a mom despite being depressed.

Seek professional help

If nothing’s helping, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor or therapist so they can give you effective measures on how to cope up with your current situation. Remember that your baby needs their mother more than anything else, so consider this as an investment for their future wellbeing. It is very challenging adjusting at first, but keep on reminding yourself that many people have also been through this kind of experience before and have learned how to handle it responsibly; you can become one of these people, too, by putting the necessary efforts.

The best solutions to new mom depression

The good news is that PPD can be treated, and most mothers will recover within four months. But for some new moms, PPD can linger much longer than four months – leading to chronic depression. Left untreated, chronic depression could affect her both mentally and physically.

Sleep when your baby sleeps :

Yes, this sounds like an impossible task, but it’s the best advice anyone can give to new moms. If you don’t get the proper rest, you won’t function properly and will be cranky throughout your day – which is not suitable for your baby or you either.

Take naps when possible :

You can do this any time of the day to recharge yourself. Your body needs it, so use every opportunity that presents itself.

Eat healthy foods :

Make sure your diet consists of fresh veggies, lean meats, nutritious grains, fruits, and dairy products. Try to avoid junk food because they are loaded with salt, sugar, additives, and preservatives that are bad for you.

Exercise regularly :

According to experts, exercise releases endorphins into your system, which makes you happy. Just make sure you’re well-rested before exercising.

Set weekly, daily, and hourly goals :

A time frame will help keep your sanity in check. After all, mothers need to be organized, or they’ll turn into a hot mess! So set time limits for tasks like getting the groceries, taking the kids out to play, cooking dinner, etc.

Ask for assistance :

You can’t do it alone, so don’t even try to. You have lots of people who are willing to pitch in and help. Ask them for their assistance when needed. It’s just easier that way. There is no shame in being helpful.

Exercise your mind :

Read books or magazines that interest you. Watching films is also fun to pass the time.

Accept help from friends and family members :

Yes, we all know those meddlesome people who feel they can come in and solve every problem under the sun – including yours! Well, it’s not their fault. They love us and want to help, so let them. You’ll feel better once you do.

women waiting to have kids

Tips for handling depressed new mothers

1. Tell her that the baby is lucky to have her as a mother and then list all the reasons why. A depressed mom can’t always see it, so her friends and family must remind her of these things until she believes them herself.

2. Remind her that some days suck more than others, but she will eventually leave the newborn phase behind and once again remember who she was before she had kids. This can be encouraging to some depressed moms if they’re not feeling up for anything else just yet. She may even begin to look forward to that future day when she has “it” back: that special something that made her a desirable person in her own right.

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3. Encourage her to get out of the house at least once every two days, even if it’s just for 20 minutes to walk or go to Starbucks. By taking this small step, she is not only doing something good for herself but also doing something good for the baby by exposing them to outdoor air and natural light; sleep patterns improve with exposure to sunlight (natural or artificial), so getting outdoors can help the mom with her depression as well as make baby happier and healthier by improving their sleeping habits.

fat baby

4. A depressed mom might feel guilty about leaving the baby with someone else. Remind her that other family members will be happy to help and it’s not an imposition for them unless she makes it one. Sometimes guilt trips make things worse, however, so make sure she knows you are offering your services because you want to help, not because someone is putting pressure on you.

5. Encourage the mom to get quiet time (even if it’s just 15 minutes) alone in another room or even outside. This gives her some much needed “you time”. During this time away, she can do something she enjoys like read, color in an adult coloring book, watch TV/movies/YouTube videos – anything at all that can take her off of herself for a while so she can concentrate on something besides her depression.

6. Remind the mom that no one is perfect, no one has it all, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. If she does or says something that upsets the family, they will love her just the same because they understand that not everything comes out right when you’re depressed. Everyone knows this, but sometimes a depressed person needs to hear it too to feel better about herself; an encouraging word from someone who loves her might be all she needs to pick herself up out of the doldrums for another day.

7. Remind the new mother that depression usually subsides within 6-12 months, so she should not get discouraged during this time because even though it may seem like forever right now, it’s just a short part of her life that will eventually pass once she can shake off these feelings of despair and hopelessness. Her family wishes she could see how bright the future is for them once she feels better again.

8. Remind the mom that even though she is not the same person she was before the baby, her family still loves her just as much because they know who she is deep inside, and it has nothing to do with what’s on the outside. No one expects her to be a superwoman, so if she needs help or advice, always feel free to ask because they want to help.

9. Make sure everyone in the family knows about postpartum depression/anxiety and encourage them to take any signs of it seriously while also reassuring her that everything will get back to normal soon enough; sometimes hearing it from others helps the depressed mom to know that her feelings are expected (if not expected) for someone who has just given birth.

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