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PPD, Sleep and Mental Health

PPD, Sleep, and Impact on Mental Health | Orlando Therapist shares information

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mental health disorder that can affect women after giving birth. It is estimated to affect 1 in 7 women, though the symptoms of PPD can vary greatly. Common symptoms of PPD include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, difficulty bonding with the baby, anxiety, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and concentrating. It is important to note that although postpartum depression is often associated with new mothers it can affect fathers as well. 

PPD can have significant impacts on both a woman’s physical and emotional wellbeing, and sleep deprivation can further exacerbate PPD symptoms. While PPD is often associated with new mothers, PPD can affect anyone who has given birth recently or up to one year prior, PPD symptoms can also effect new fathers. We all know sleep is a vital component to mental health, but when there is the added stress of taking care of a baby during the day, and lack of sleep at night this can be a recipe for severe PPD. Sleep quality is an important factor in managing PPD; however, many new parents face difficulty achieving sufficient sleep due to the demands of caring for a newborn. Poor or little sleep, combined with hormonal changes can increase PPD symptoms, and its important for new parents to call upon their support system. 

Symptoms of PPD: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Difficulty bonding with the baby 
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness 
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating 

Symptoms of poor sleep 

  • Extreme exhaustion or tiredness 
  • Irritability
  • Foggy mental clarity 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Mood swings 
  • Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out 

Seeking help from PPD support groups, friends and family members can provide the necessary assistance to ensure new parents are taking care of their mental health. It is also important for new parents to focus on self-care activities such as eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep if possible. 

If outside support isn’t possible, this is a great time for new parents to communicate with one another so that they can get ample “breaks” both during the day, and nighttime to rest and recharge – ultimately this will make them better parents, and decrease potential likelihood of PPD. 

It is important to understand that mental health should be a priority for new parents, and PPD should always be taken seriously. It is essential for anyone experiencing PPD or other mental health issues to seek professional help from a mental health care provider. With proper treatment such as individual counseling and/or medication management people with PPD can learn to manage their symptoms and cope with the stressors of parenting. In addition, supportive family members and friends can help loved ones in need by providing emotional support. 

At GroundWork Counseling, our therapists are available to help new parents cope with PPD by providing individual counseling, couples therapy and evidence-based CBT. We are here to provide understanding, guidance, and support during this life transition, helping you achieve happiness and balance.


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