Registered nurse Tonia Squires teaches new moms everything from breastfeeding to bathing, but says there is one subject women need to educate themselves on as much as possible.
"After baby comes out, there are a lot of hormone changes that happen very quickly, so it's kind of a hormone roller coaster," she said.
Squires said that while many women get the baby blues after birth some moms are hit hard by postpartum depression.
"Sometimes it can develop into postpartum psychosis, which is very rare and very dangerous," she said.
Symptoms to watch out for are:
Sadness or crying
Anxiety is also a symptom of postpartum depression, but if it is severe it also be a case of postpartum anxiety.
"She may be obsessing over things, she can't rest, maybe she feels heart palpitations," Squires said. "It's a very very uncomfortable place to be."
Feeling there were not enough resources for women with postpartum depression or anxiety, Washington Regional and Squires started a support group. Squires is also forming a walking group for moms who just need to get together and talk.
"It's so important for moms to talk to other mothers so they know what they are going through is normal," she said.
She also points out many people have unrealistic expectations of motherhood.
"We have very high expectations for our families these days," Squires said. "These women feel like they need to do it all, and do it all perfectly."
Postpartum depression and anxiety are usually treated with counseling and medication, but the first step is for mothers and their support groups to realize they need help - and that now in Northwest Arkansas there is more of it out there.
"We need to talk about mental illness more," Squires said. "It needs to be a big part of our conversations...they need to know it's treatable."
If you are showing signs of postpartum depression or anxiety you need to contact your OBGYN immediately.
Family and friends also need to watch new moms closely to make sure they don't exhibit signs of the illnesses.
For more information on the support/walking groups go to: http://www.wregional.com/.
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