After birthmothers place their child for an adoption, many go through a period of loss, which includes various stages of grief, including anger, sorrow, denial, shock, or depression. It’s not easy to reconcile the emotional adoption process, so it’s completely normal that some birthmothers suffer from post-partum depression after the placement. There are ways on how to cope with this emotional time.
Symptoms of Post-partum Depression
Post-partum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of behavioral, physical, and emotional changes that happen in a birthmother after giving birth. It’s a form of depression that can occur anytime within four weeks after the delivery. Many women experience these emotional and physical changes. Symptoms usually include fatigue, frequent mood changes, difficulty sleeping, and appetite changes. However, these are also accompanied by other symptoms usually linked to major depression, which include a feeling of worthlessness, loss of pleasure, hopelessness, and a depressed mood.
No one knows what causes post-partum depression in birthmothers, but it may be due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body. During pregnancy, the amount of hormones in a woman’s body increases gently. After the childbirth, these hormones drop rapidly, which is a shock for your body.
How to Cope
There are some ways to take care of yourself when you’re dealing with post-partum depression:
- Remember that being sad is not a weakness. If all you want to do is watch movies or sleep, do that. Always try to acknowledge your feelings and feel whatever you need to feel.
- Many birthmothers struggle with a feeling of inadequacy and self-blame, but you should remind yourself that you’re strong every day. Appreciate people around you who want to be there for you. If you want to talk to someone who has been through post-partum depression, try to contact other birthmothers. You can also join a support group or seek a professional help if it gets too difficult.
- Try not to feel guilty about the way you feel and remember that it’s important to eat and sleep well. You need to be good to yourself, so focus on taking good care of yourself.
- Get out of the house and do something you’ve always wanted to do. You can also consider including some new activities into your daily routine.
- Remember that this is a medical condition and there are medicines that can be helpful, so talk to your health care provider and ask for advice.
- Don’t isolate yourself and try to maintain a relationship with your family and friends since you need to be surrounded with people who want to help you.
- If you’re feeling extremely anxious, scared, or you can’t cope with everyday situations, ask for a professional help. Post-partum depression is normal and counseling may be extremely helpful in this situation.