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6 signs you might be experiencing postpartum depression

Postpartum depression isn't just "baby blues" or fatigue from sleepless nights with a newborn; it is a genuine mental health concern that deserves attention and understanding.

Parents with their newborn [Image: Anna Shvets]

Bringing a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, but for many Kenyan mothers, the postpartum period can be a rollercoaster of emotions.

Amidst the joy and wonder of new motherhood, some women find themselves struggling with a less talked-about reality—postpartum depression (PPD). This isn't just "baby blues" or the fatigue that comes with sleepless nights; it's a genuine mental health concern that deserves attention and understanding.

In this article, we'll explore six signs that might indicate you're experiencing postpartum depression, a condition that affects more mothers than we might realise.

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If you find yourself overwhelmed by a persistent feeling of sadness that seems to linger beyond the usual baby blues, it could be a sign of postpartum depression.

Feeling down is normal, but when it becomes a constant companion, it's crucial to pay attention.

The exhaustion that comes with caring for a newborn is no joke, but if your fatigue goes beyond the expected tiredness and interferes with your ability to function, it might be a red flag for postpartum depression.

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Postpartum depression can manifest in various ways, and one common sign is changes in appetite. Whether you find yourself overeating or having no interest in food at all, these extremes could indicate a deeper emotional struggle.

Motherhood can be stressful, but if you're experiencing intense irritability and unexplained anger that disrupts your daily life, it's crucial to consider the possibility of postpartum depression.

Building a connection with your newborn is a beautiful part of motherhood, but postpartum depression can make this process challenging.

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If you find it difficult to bond with your baby or lack interest in their care, it's a sign that shouldn't be ignored.

Postpartum depression can sometimes manifest in the form of intrusive and disturbing thoughts about harm coming to you or your baby. If you experience these thoughts, it's essential to seek help immediately.

In a society that often places immense value on the joy of motherhood, it's important to recognise and address the signs of postpartum depression without judgment.

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If you identify with any of these signs, remember that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide the understanding and help you need.

Postpartum depression is treatable, and with the right support, you can navigate this challenging time and emerge stronger for both yourself and your baby.

Editor's Note: Mindful Kenya offers mental health services on short USSD code *702*30#. By following the prompts a person seeking professional mental healthcare is linked with a specialist under a guarantee of anonymity.

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