Do you feel worried, depressed, anxious about relationship issues, or suicidal? Some women get worried about the deep emotional pain that usually comes after childbirth. When a woman gets pregnant, she enters a new phase of life. Being a new mother, she has to deal with many challenges in her body and life. She suffers from sleepless nights, new responsibilities and also the breast pain. A new chapter begins of her life with a newborn baby. However what regarding the depression related to pregnancy and childbirth? It is what is said to be a Postpartum Depression.
Postpartum Depression is a kind of depression that one can get after giving birth to a baby. This depression is widespread among all women. Researchers found that among 10,000 mothers with newborns, every one mother out of 7 suffers from this depression. It mostly starts during the first three weeks or during any time in the first year after childbirth. One feels sad, hopeless, guilty, loneliness, worthlessness, and anxiety during this period. It is normal for some women to feel the “baby blues” after giving birth to a child. Baby Blues usually lasts for ten days after delivery and said to be the regular part of early motherhood. Many women experience mood swings after childbirth. One minute they feel happy, and in the next one, they feel like crying.
It is a severe form of mental illness which can happen with postpartum depression. Its symptoms are more severe than those of postpartum depression. It generally begins during the first two weeks after the childbirth.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
There can be many reasons for this depression. Some of them include- Hormones, History of Depression, Stress and Problems, Severe premenstrual syndrome.
Well first talking about Hormones- During pregnancy, hormone level rises. When the baby gets born, it suddenly drops down. The quick change in the hormones triggers this depression in many women. It produces chemical changes in the brain.
Next comes the Depression’s History- If a woman had depression earlier or someone has it in the family, then there are more chances of getting postpartum depression.
The third one is the Problems and Stress- Women who did not want to get pregnant or when her partner or family does not support her, and then there are more chances of getting depressed by it. It is also common for those women who have financial problems, issues with alcohol and drugs or any other reason for stress.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
The common symptoms for depression are-
- Sadness, trouble with focus, lack of interest in daily tasks
- Losing hope, crying very much for no reason
- Unable to care for the baby or problem in making the bond with the child
- Loss of interest in, self- care, food, or other things which made you happy earlier
- Mood swings, anxiety or panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming the baby or suicide attempts
Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis
Postpartum Psychosis is an emergency, and it needs immediate medical help. Some of the symptoms related to it are-
- Sleepless nights, not clear about your thoughts
- One refuses to eat
- Obsessive and fearful thoughts about the baby
- One starts thinking or believing things that are not real that are hallucinating or having delusions
- One gets deeply suspicious of other people
Treatment of Postpartum Depression
A doctor can only help you with this depression. It gets treated in the same manner as any other type of depression. Medication and Counseling are the two necessary treatments one should undergo to get relief from this depression.
Medication- Most of the doctors prescribe antidepressants which help in balancing the chemicals of the brain associated with depression. One more medication named Brexanolone is specially used to treat postpartum depression. It is a fabricated form of the allopregnanolone hormone.
Counseling- Counseling is also beneficial for this treatment. One can talk to a therapist or psychologist through which she can learn to deal with her negative thoughts. She can even learn to work on her past connections and stresses so that it won’t affect her life anymore.
Besides these treatments, one can do many things to get herself out of this depression. A woman can exercise regularly, include funny activities in her daily routine, surround herself with all the positive people, meet her goals, and provide her schedule with short naps to relax her mind.
Postpartum Depression cannot get avoided or prevented. However, a woman can get prepare before the birth of another baby if she has a history of postpartum depression. She should keep her mind as well as her body healthy. She should acquire herself with stress reduction strategies and eat healthy during the pregnancy time. After childbirth, she should avoid alcohol and caffeine.
So, one should focus on screening efforts to prevent this depression which includes accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and appropriate follow up.