This post-delivery condition is more common than most think. If this is familiar to you, know that you are not alone. We’re here to help!

You've passed a successful delivery and your baby is finally in your arms! The euphoric happiness of motherhood is now yours; however, this isn't always the case. Many women experience "the baby blues" and mood swings after giving birth, which is normal. Due to the fluctuation of hormones, women are susceptible to the natural ups and downs post-delivery.

But what happens if the sadness grows deeper? The child you’ve been nurturing for months is now there. So why do you feel depressed?

This condition following childbirth is called Postpartum Depression, and this affects 20 percent of women. Feeling that you may be suffering from this? Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness or anxiety

  • Severe mood swings

  • Insomnia

  • Inconsolable crying

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Having a hard time bonding with your baby

  • Distancing yourself from your friends and family

  • Feeling isolated

  • Complete loss of appetite

  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

  • Difficulty taking care of your baby and carrying out everyday tasks

For women who are at a high risk of depression, recognizing and receiving help by getting screened during and after pregnancy is highly recommended. But once the condition strikes, what steps can you now take to recover your health?

If you feel like you need more guidance or immediate help, never hesitate to ask your doctor or a therapist. There is nothing embarrassing about postpartum depression, since pregnancy brings about many hormonal changes and shifts—not to mention the physical and emotional stress of this major life change. With the right treatment, your postpartum depression will fade away, allowing you to bask fully in the joys of motherhood you and your baby deserve.

  • If you've had a history of depression, talk immediately to your doctor. Since the risk of postpartum depression is higher for women in this group, seek professional advice on preventive measures to lower the risk.

  • Another way is to learn how to manage stress on your own. Since stress can pre-aggravate postpartum depression, learn relaxation techniques— it may be yoga, meditation, breathing, or me-time—and continuously practice them, before and after delivery.

  • Aside from inward strength, you can also gain help from your own support system . Family and friends are more than willing to assist with household tasks, such as making meals, babysitting, or cleaning. Gladly accept these offers to ease your burdens, and you will feel less isolated, overwhelmed and tired.

  • Another support system can come from a prenatal class. Meeting other moms-to-be and sharing personal tips and feelings will provide a helpful open dialogue. You can ask about lactation issues, where to contact a wet nurse, how to find couple time by asking for yaya recommendations… It's always nice to have a close network of fellow mommies in times of need!

  • It's not enough to maintain your social life—make sure you also keep your pre-mom identity in check. Cultivate your hobbies and passions! Read, cook, knit…whichever activity you do, just enjoy it and keep at it.

  • One important reminder many forget is to watch your diet. Research shows that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA found in fish oil reduces symptoms of postpartum depression when consumed during pregnancy. Health experts recommend that pregnant women consume 200 mg of DHA daily.1DHA can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon and some lactation milk.

  • And don't forget to sleep! Sleep deprivation can raise your risk of feeling depressed. Don't underestimate the power of rest, so take your naps, go to bed early, and stock up on energy.

1"How Much DHA for a Pregnant Mother?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 2013. Web. 09 Aug. 2016.