Guest Author - Julixa Newman
Mothers of multiples have an increased risk of postpartum depression due to the increase in hormonal fluctuation that accompanies a multiple pregnancy. When a women gives birth, there is a substantial drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. There may also be a change in thyroid levels, metabolism and even blood pressure. All of these factors play a crucial part in PPD. As a mother of multiples, the stress of caring for more than one baby, the lack of sleep, and the lifestyle adjustments also contribute to a higher risk of PPD. That is why it is important that we don't ignore the signs of this dangerous condition.
Anyone can experience the baby blues, but how do you know it's not more than that? Here are some signs of postpartum depression that you should not ignore. The best thing that you can do for you and your babies is seek help. It's just one way of being a responsible parent.
First, I would like to say that it is perfectly normal to feel the blues after having a baby. What you once thought would be a wonderful experience from the start has turned out to be an overwhelming, tiring, thankless job. It is not uncommon to want to cry every so often and wonder “What have I gotten myself into?” It is when this feeling lasts more than two to three weeks, or you have recurring thoughts of harming yourself or your babies that there is cause for alarm. If you find that after three weeks you are still feeling blue and have had thoughts of suicide you should definitely seek help.
Signs of Postpartum Depression
Baby blues that have not gone away after three weeks
Negative feelings towards your babies
Recurring thoughts of suicide and/or death
Previous history of PPD
Strong feelings of guilt and/or worthlessness
Thoughts of hurting your babies
Strong feelings of depression or irritation
No interest in activities that you once loved
Withdrawal from family and friends
PPD can develop right after giving birth or start months after your babies are born. Because of this gap, you should always consider PPD when you find yourself in a depressive state up to six months after having your multiples. If you find that you experiencing some of these signs but are not sure whether it would be considered PPD, please contact a health care provider and set up a consultation. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Sources: Mayoclinic.com, Medicinenet.com