Welcoming a new baby into the world can be the happiest day of a mother’s life. But, that can be extremely difficult for them struggling with postpartum depression.Due to childbirth, a mother’s body as a natural process goes through severe hormonal changes that cause postpartum depression in several mothers. Mothers suffering from this type of depression not only face hopelessness but are also incapable of forming a bond with their child. Unknowing this condition, family especially “in-laws” blame the mother instead of giving her emotional support. Postpartum depression affects about ten to fifteen percent of women after the baby is born. But, we should also bear in mind
that due to several reasons women don’t talk about their condition.
WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:-
Depression that begins for the mother within the first twelve months after a baby is born is called postpartum depression. It occurs soon after delivery or later up to a year. Mostly it occurs within the first three months. Postpartum psychosis affects one in ten women. There are over three million reported cases of women having postpartum depression.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS:-
The exact cause of postpartum depression is unknown. But, several hormonal and non- hormonal factors affect this kind of depression.
- Changes in hormone levels during and after pregnancy can affect the mood.
- Changes in the body from pregnancy to delivery.
- Having less time and freedom for themselves.
- Due to lack of proper sleep.
- Bothers about the ability to be a good mother.
HIGHER POSSIBILITIES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:-
- Women having age under twenty can be affected.
- The use of alcohol, illegal substances, or smoking can even cause health risks for
- The circumstance of having an unplanned pregnancy or having mixed feelings of
- Women having depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder before pregnancy, or
- Having babies close together, having trouble breastfeeding.
- Having a stressful event during pregnancy or delivery.
- Death or illness of a loved one can affect mental health.
- An emergency delivery, premature birth can also affect physical health.
- Illness or birth deficiency in the baby can improve anxiety.
- Spending time with a close family member who has depression can develop despair.
- Having a poor relationship with the husband, perhaps upswings the mood.
- Very little support from family, friends, and spouse certainly curtails the consolation.
SIGNS AND INDICATIONS:-
Women who are suffering from postpartum depression encounter severe fatigue. They suffer hard to get up and take a shower. They feel sad, hopeless, empty, overwhelmed easily compared to past coping, demotivated, and often cry more than usual for no reasonable reason.
They always feel worried, anxious, irritable, restless, moody, and avoid friends and family. They gradually lose interest in enjoyable activities and experience anger and rage.
They encounter oversleeping or being unable to sleep even when their baby is asleep and either eat massively or insufficiently. They endure physical aches, frequent headaches, gut problems, and muscle pains. They feel confused taking decisions and remembering details. They form an emotional attachment with the baby and always assume about harming herself or the baby.
SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES OF MOTHERS HAVING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:-
- No-one asked me whether I was comfortable breastfeeding or not, and I hated it. I felt exhausted and terrible to take care of myself and the baby. The worst feeling was that I didn’t feel considered anymore as a person or a woman, ” I was just a mother.”
- I was crying all the time it frustrated me because I couldn’t explain to anyone what was going on in my head. It wasn’t anything that I felt for my baby, which was more feelings that I had in myself that something wasn’t right.
- I was scared that someone was going to come to my house and take my baby away from me. I started getting more and more down. It was more about my ability as a mother. I don’t want to breastfeed and do the cooking and cleaning at the same time. I always thought that if I talk about that, then someone is going to look at me as a bad mother. That’s the reason why I didn’t talk about it for ages. PPD made me believe my baby was dead that improved the disconnection with my baby.
Doctors usually talk with the mothers about their feelings, thoughts, and mental health to differentiate between a short-term cause of PPD or a more severe form of depression and ask them to complete a depression screening survey and order blood tests and other tests if necessary.
PSYCHOTHERAPY:- It often treats postpartum depression. It helps to talk through the concerns with a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. One can find better ways to cope with feelings, solve problems, to set realistic goals, and respond to situations positively. Occasionally, family or
relationship therapy also helps during psychotherapy. They also recommend a few anti- depressants if necessary.
ELECTRO CONVULSIVE THERAPY:- If the PPD is severe and does not respond to medication, doctors recommend ECT during which a small amount of electrical current is applied to the brain to produce brain waves.
MISCONCEPTIONS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:-
- Having PPD makes women a bad mother.
- People having PPD cry all the time and cannot take care of themselves.
- PPD will go away on its own.
- PPD happens immediately after a child is born.
- PPD is always a woman’s fault.
If PPD makes a woman a bad mother, then life would end at the stage of the birth itself.
PPD doesn’t look in one way, which leads to lots of fluctuations in the hormones at a high rate.
So, having PPD doesn’t mean to cry all the time. Having depression is no-one’s fault.
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS THAT NEEDS CARE, SUPPORT, AND TREATMENT LIKE ANY OTHER CONDITION. WE MUST RECOGNISE IT AS A
MEDICAL CONDITION OTHERWISE IT CAN CONVERT INTO A CHRONIC DEPRESSION. CONTACT A DOCTOR FOR HELP. RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE WITH
IF YOU FEEL DESERTED AND ISOLATED, PLEASE REMEMBER
THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
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