I believe depression is likely to hit when the amount of losses in your life outweight the gains.
As you become a parent there can be a lot of loss. Here’s an example of how my losses vs gains looked at around 1 month postpartum.
I felt overwhelmingly sad over all my losses – a form of grief (which I now know is totally ok to feel – see my post It’s OK to grieve for your old life). In the beginning, babies don’t give a hell of a lot back.
But as time goes on, these scales change. As you take positive steps towards your recovery, for example taking some ‘me time‘ and also as your baby develops and starts to interact with you. Things like their first smile can be a massive gain and you see that things start weighing up again.
This is how my scale might look now, at 10months postpartum.
An nice idea, could be to do a loss/gain list on a monthly basis. See how things change as you and your baby develop.
It’s also a great starting point to talk to your partner about how they are feeling too. You might be surprised at how they have similar or quite different losses. Husbands can often feel as though they have lost their wife – who now dedicates all her time to the baby. You can use this as a talking point to work as a team to improve your gains and reduce the losses.