GMA Tuesday morning review

Men share in the stress and sleep deprivation when a newborn arrives. “… a feeling of complete sadness, deep sadness.” They can feel completely overwhelmed. A man’s risk of depression doubles after a newborn is born. 1 in 4 new dads may experience paternal post natal depression. Men go through hormonal changes experiencing increased estrogen and decreased testosterone causing the blues.

  1. sleep deprivation
  2. anxiety
  3. incredible expectations

Having a depressed partner makes it worse. You need to be emotionally healthy for your children to be emotionally healthy. Go here for video:

Robin’s info on postpartum depression

The symptoms are pretty much the same as in major depression. Postpartum depression in many cases can be due to lack of sleep. With a newborn, it is hard to get the restorative sleep necessary to keep our brain chemistry balanced. Lack of sleep causes a decrease in the production of our much-needed neurotransmitter serotonin. Because the chemicals in our bodies all talk to one another, the low serotonin will cause other imbalances that’s why in men the estrogen increases and the testosterone levels decrease.

With low serotonin we can experience a whole host of unpleasant side effects such as:

  1. irritability
  2. severe mood swings
  3. weight loss or gain
  4. insomnia or excessive sleep
  5. fatigue
  6. inadequate sense of well being
  7. poor immune function

I was chatting away with my hairdresser a few months ago about this exact subject. She said with her first child she had postpartum depression, but with her second child she did not. Her mother came to stay with her when her second child was born and helped with meals, laundry, care of the children and anything else she could to let her daughter sleep. The adequate sleep with the second child made all the difference. She did not experience postpartum depression.

The moral of the story: get your sleep! When all else fails or you just need some extra support, get a neurotransmitter test done (urine) so you can support your brain chemistry to feel better quickly.

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