Every mom braces herself for the baby blues and PPD; as 1 in 7 women may experience a severe bout of PPD. However, what many moms do not see coming is the baby pinks or postpartum euphoria. Postpartum euphoria is the exact inverse of postpartum depression. The anxiety, sadness, and lethargy of PPD are replaced by extreme glee and excessive energy.
About 1 in every 10 new moms experience hypomania or postpartum euphoria. Some moms that have survived it describe the baby pinks as feeling like 'supermom,' like no challenge on this planet can down them or their incredibly impressive parenting skill!
Below are some crucial facts to know about baby pinks:
10 Postpartum euphoria is different from the new mom glow
Most moms feel excited after birth. After all, you did just make a little human, bring them into the world, and now you have someone to care for and be by your side for at least the next eighteen years. It is perfectly fine to exhibit some excitement and joy at your new role as a mom.
However, the baby pinks are another thing altogether; the joy is more like a drug-induced 'high,' and the energy is usually so much that your mind gets fuzzy at times. While the new mom glow has a positive impact on the mom and her child, the baby pinks cause more harm than good, can overwhelm the significant others around them and even trigger bipolar.
9 They are not a good thing
The terms euphoria, pink, and glee do not make the phenomenon a good thing. In fact, postpartum euphoria is an incredibly serious mental illness that could spiral into postpartum psychosis if left unchecked.
Many women who experience the symptoms of postpartum euphoria are blinded by the gladness of not getting the baby blues; this, coupled with the lack of awareness predisposes both mom and baby to significant risk. Some of the risks involve overexerting yourself, thinking that you have boundless energy soon after delivery, which could make you pass out or crash while holding your little one.
8 Symptoms of Postpartum euphoria
With the knowledge that postpartum euphoria is a severe disorder, you now must know the signs to look for either in yourself or a loved one. They tend to show soon after birth and can last for the next 6-8 weeks. These symptoms do resemble those of Bipolar II, and include:
- Ability to function on little or no sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid speech and being more talkative than usual
- Inability to concentrate
- A feeling of having boundless energy
- Feeling 'hyper' or in high spirits
- Reduced inhibitions which could lead to inappropriate sexual behavior, drug use, or excessive shopping sprees
- Feeling irritable at times
- Feeling unstoppable, like you have superpowers
7 Watch out for changes in personality
If you or a loved one who has recently been delivered experiences a sharp difference in your general preferences and interactions with people; for instance, becoming more outgoing, chatty, or bold, you might want to seek assistance from your doctor. Also, track your thought patterns and spending. These subtle signs are often symptoms of postpartum euphoria.
6 Listen to friends and family
If you have postpartum mania or hypomania, you may not realize any bizarre changes in your behavior, speech, or recognize your symptoms. It is therefore essential to take their opinions seriously and obtain treatment early.
5 What causes postpartum euphoria?
Experts and research into the causes of this interesting phenomenon are still inconclusive, but some possible causes include:
- Hormone fluctuations
- Inadequate support
- Having a history of mental health problems
- Psycho-social demands to care for the baby
Experts caution that postpartum euphoria can be a precursor to postpartum bipolar disorder, which can predispose you and baby to even more danger. It is incredibly crucial that you visit your ob-gyn or psychologist to obtain treatment and therapy.
4 How is postpartum euphoria treated?
Your doctor may prescribe some medications to restore balance in your hormones and recommend therapy. You may also have to adjust your lifestyle to eliminate any stressors and get your friends and family involved to assist with caring for both you and your baby.
However, when a mom has not been sleeping for days on end, her behavior and thought processes may become erratic, bizarre, and pose a danger to her and her child. She must be brought to the nearest Emergency Room for treatment.
3 Postpartum euphoria may crop up after depression during pregnancy
Many survivors of Postpartum euphoria attest to having had an exceedingly difficult pregnancy, called perinatal depression. Some moms say that the new surge of energy felt like a welcome break from the sadness and gloom they felt and that they could now take over their new roles as moms.
However, this surge of energy is just as dangerous as the perinatal depression, and you must take steps to obtain treatment.
2 The importance of catching postpartum euphoria early
According to Neuropsychiatry, a study done in Denmark discovered that admissions for postpartum bipolar increased 23-fold compared to a 5-fold increase in hospitalizations for PPD. This trend is explained by the perception that women should be able to feel energetic, vibrant, and ready to take up their household duties right after birth.
It is thus essential that new moms be accorded the mental health support that they deserve to catch the baby pinks before they morph into the far more dangerous postpartum bipolar disorder.
1 Your role as the partner
If you are a new parent and your partner is all jazzed up with her new 'spidey senses' and urge to invite her entire family for brunch to celebrate the baby's birth right after CS, you need to take the necessary action to get her treatment. You need to show her extra support so that her body and mind recover fully from all the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. The postpartum period is just as critical as the pregnancy and delivery time, and monitoring her health closely through this period is crucial.
The biggest challenge faced by moms suffering from postpartum euphoria is that most people perceive it as a good thing. Everyone wants a supermom, a mother with all the energy needed to care for her family just after birth. Unfortunately, this is usually a warning sign of impending mental illness and should be treated with the urgency it calls for.