What is Postpartum Depression?

When one is pregnant the care from loved ones is mostly needed when preparing for the bundle of joy. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mixture of complex changes from emotional, behavioural, and physical associated with giving birth.

Changes in hormones and stress after giving birth can trigger feelings of depression, anxiety, and helplessness.

Symptoms of postpartum depression vary from one woman to another. Unquestionably, it is not the mother’s fault and can affect anyone after childbirth.

Postpartum Depression

Also, postpartum depression is known as post-natal depression or PPD.

Stressed Mother Holding Crying Baby Suffering From Postpartum Depression

What people do not know is that the mother might have mixed feelings once the baby is born.

Especially, if the mother is the one with the baby all the time with no help.

Most newborns eat every 2 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times every 24 hours hence the mother can be overwhelmed.

Babes love eating and after some time they can overfeed even on breast milk. This can lead to fatigue on the mother’s side.

Bottle-Feeding Is an Alternative to Breastfeeding

Apart from this, the family members can assist by bottle feeding to give the mother alone time for relaxing.

When babies are born the mother is joyful, full of excitement which can change to fear and anxiety after a while due to stress.

Nonetheless, postpartum depression should not be viewed as a weakness as it can happen to any mother.

Some complications during child delivery can lead to postpartum depression. This doesn’t mean the mother doesn’t love the newborn only that she needs treatment.

Importantly the treatment can be used to manage the symptoms and allow the mother to bond with the baby.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression.

The mother may experience various symptoms that are associated with “baby blues” namely

  • Hysterical or continuous crying.
  • Mood swings.
  • Difficulties in sleeping.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling exhausted and fatigued.
  • Anxiety.
  • Shagginess and feeling worthless and hopeless.
  • Thoughts of suicide or harming others.
  • Not in touch with life, feeling defeated.

These symptoms can start two days after delivery to three weeks. It can be very severe hence requiring admission into a hospital for treatment. When postpartum depression become severe it is called postpartum psychosis

Checking the symptoms is the easy way for the doctor to make a diagnosis to know if the woman is suffering from postpartum depression.

Solutions to Postpartum Depression

This condition is not permanent and can be treated with medication and counseling.

Notably, untreated postpartum depression can be dangerous for new moms and their children.

If symptoms are there even after 2 weeks it is good to seek treatment.

Firstly, accepting that having postpartum depression does not mean the person does not love their baby. It is a mental health disorder and is treatable.

For every 9 women that give birth 1 suffers from postpartum depression.

Clearly, this is not a condition that most doctors know exactly what causes it.  It can be caused by different factors which can range from genetic, risk to environmental factors.

  • Medication

Medication is one solution although it can take several weeks to notice a difference in a mother’s/father’s mood. Moreover, one can be put in an antidepressant to treat postpartum depression.

Due to breastfeeding, the antidepressant that is mostly given is safe for the baby. Obviously, if the antidepressants are giving you side effects discuss with your doctor.

Hormonal changes in a woman after childbirth can be brought about by mixed emotions of discontentment with the baby and self.

The medication will not work in a week but should be followed as the doctor advised. Some women are more affected by postpartum depression than others.

  • Counseling

Subsequently, counseling can also be used to treat postpartum depression as it is also a mental disorder.

Therapy Can Assist When a Relationship is Strained Due to Postpartum Depression

With the symptoms that PPD manifests, a counselor can help make sense of destructive thoughts and offer strategies for working through them.

It may be very hard to get better on your own as a mother struggling with postpartum depression hence get professional help.

Women who have had any kind of depression in the past (including postpartum depression) or who have a family history of depression are more likely to get postpartum depression.

Is Counseling Effective?

These both treatments are not quick-fix treatments, it takes the effort of the mother with PPD.

A counselor will help one talk about her/his emotions and feelings and show one technique to relieve the stress that are doable at home.

If your marriage or relationship as a couple is strained due to postpartum depression a counselor or therapist can help you reconnect and build a strong foundation to raise your baby.

Difference between Postpartum Psychosis and Postpartum Depression

Postpartum psychosis is a severe mental health problem compared to postpartum depression.

Additionally, postpartum psychosis needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, mania, paranoia, and confusion.

Postpartum Depression Signs

Isolation and Withdraw Is A Sign of Postnatal Depression

Postpartum depression is mild depression and can be treated with medicine and counseling.

Symptoms include loss of appetite, crying spells, anxiety, and fatigue, difficulty sleeping.

Alongside this, it can be difficult to care for the baby or yourself due to severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness.

As a mother one might ignore fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulties in sleeping as normal challenges with a new baby. Don’t seek help.

These symptoms can start appearing after a few weeks after childbirth and might be easy to ignore.

Family and friends might notice isolation, withdrawal, and bad mood swings from you even before you notice something is wrong.

Unquestionably, if a mother has PPD one should see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can get started on treatment.

Can Self-Care Treatment Work for Postpartum Depression?

It is not easy to self-care but some mothers are able to do it when they notice the symptoms. Without a doubt, to improve your mood and maintain personal relationships one can implement some lifestyle and self-care techniques to deal with PPD.

Consult your doctor before you starting treating yourself to get professional advice. With both, one can overcome the depression.

To start with, the woman should get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and take time to relax.

If you notice you are not able to self-care get help immediately from your doctor. Remember getting help quickly make you feel better faster and allows you plenty of time to bond with your baby as she grows.

Conclusion

While most women experience a brief period of worry or unhappiness after delivery. Men too can suffer postpartum depression although a small percentage of 1-20% in a household with a newborn.

PPD Affects Fathers Too

Obviously, the baby requires more attention, care and may disrupt the way of life the couple was used to causing stress and frustrations.

One needs to see a doctor particularly when you suspect postpartum depression especially when symptoms are severe and last over two weeks.

Postpartum depression mostly affects mothers than fathers and roughly 15% of mothers after childbirth.

Most new moms feel anxious, sad, frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed after caring for a newborn for several weeks.

PPD can be treated through medication and counseling. Lastly, the mother will be able to enjoy caring for their baby after treatment.

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