The mental health of a person is as important as the physical wellbeing of a person. Usually overlooked, Depression is one of the largely prevailed mental illness. However, despite its enormity, people all around the world don’t pay much attention to it. Especially when the patient is a new mother. Women after childbirth get anxious and moody because their lives get too hectic and difficult.
New mothers face a whole lot of powerful emotions such as excitement, fear, and anxiety altogether. Most of the time, this clutter of emotions is mistaken as mood swings; however, it can be something much more than that. Many women after giving birth to their babies go through depression, also known as PPD, which can affect the life of a mother and the child severely. Therefore, every mother should have adequate knowledge about PPD, its symptoms, and ways to avoid it.
What is postpartum depression?
The first few weeks after childbirth can be tough for a mother. She feels streaks of emotions such as anxiety, frustration, and gets overwhelmed by taking care of the baby. This phase is called “baby blues” which commonly witness mood swings, crying spells, and sleep deprivation. Baby blues last for up to two weeks. However, for some mothers, this phase doesn’t seem to end. When these feelings don’t go away, it can be postpartum depression. PPD can be a product of chemical, social, and psychological changes that a woman goes through while having a baby.
Signs and Symptoms
Tracking down the following symptoms and signs can help a mother to know whether she’s going through just a phase or something more serious as postpartum depression:
Sign # 1
Depressed mood or severe mood swings
Sign # 2
Sign # 3
Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
Sign # 4
Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
Sign # 5
Overwhelming tiredness or loss of energy
Sign # 6
Reduced interest and pleasure in activities
Sign # 7
Intense irritability and anger
Sign # 8
Sign # 9
Reduced ability to think clearly, focus or make decisions
Sign # 10
Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Sign # 11
Sign # 12
Severe anxiety and panic attacks
There is always a cause for having an illness, however, these causes are usually complex to understand. Similarly, postpartum depression can be caused by various factors including physical and emotional issues.
Among these physical factors, a dramatic drop in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in the body is one of the most common contributors to postpartum depression.
Emotional factors can be sleep deprivation, which makes a new mother have trouble handling even minor problems. Mothers get anxious about taking care of their newborn babies which leads to PPD.
There is no set of rules to treat PPD as the treatments and its effects vary from mother to mother, however, the following are the common types of treatment that are helpful:
It is the best way to take the help of a professional and get therapy. Therapists or psychologists are all trained to make you feel and think better. They know a number of that can make a mother step out of the depression.
Medicines are also very helpful in treating depression. There are various medicines available for postpartum depression. However, make sure to follow the doctor’s prescription while taking these pills. These medicines also have side effects; therefore, a new mother should be extra vigilant while taking these medicines. When medicines don’t help much, doctors in some cases prescribe electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) that can treat postpartum depression.
3. Lifestyle adjustment
Along with the therapy and medical help, it better for a new mother to adjust her lifestyle a bit. Making some positive changes to it can do wonders. Try to add things to your daily routine that bring peace to your minds such as Meditation and Yoga, or listening to calm music. Try to make small changes in your lifestyle such as eating healthy food, give yourself some time, and go out for a walk. Try to improve your mood and relax as much as you can. Relaxation helps in reducing anxiety, therefore, do activities that make you feel calm and relaxed.
A daily exercise can make you feel energetic and uplift your mood. New mothers should include mild exercises in their daily routine that can help them bid farewell to their depression.
Ignoring depression will only lead to more complications in life and will affect the baby. Therefore, it is important to treat postpartum depression as quickly as possible. Many mothers feel that if they seek help, it will make them seem weak, which is not true. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.