Postpartum depression (PPD) is a medical illness that affects many women following childbirth. About 10 to 15 percent of moms suffer from this depression that is associated with the aftermath of the pregnancy. PPD can last anywhere between a few weeks to a year after delivery, but the good part is that it is treatable if identified at the right time.
Postnatal depression or PPD is often misjudged or misdiagnosed. You know you have PPD if you experience five or more of the following symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks:
No one knows for sure why new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. However, the sharp drop in the estrogen and progesterone levels after delivery can be an attributing factor for PPD. Furthermore, lack of sleep and the resultant tiredness can contribute as well.
While new moms eventually start enjoying motherhood, the initial days may seem to be a testing phase where many women feel confused about their changing identity. Sometimes, the new duties and responsibilities overwhelm them, and they cannot figure out how to react. During pregnancy, the entire focus is on the mother to be, but once the baby arrives, the attention shifts to the little one, leaving the new mother feeling ignored and unwanted. This is the time when the support of family and friends really matters.
PPD usually begins two to three weeks after giving birth but can start anytime during the first few days, weeks, or months post-delivery. It varies from person to person.
Motherhood confers upon a woman the responsibility of raising a child. This whole process can be daunting at times, while at other times, it can be extremely rewarding. A new mother always learns and un-learns myriad things along with her baby. In this whole journey, a mother may fall prey to anxiety disorder and depression.
Here are the top 4 tips to win over the battle with stress:
Persistent feelings of intense worry or panic cause severe distress among new mothers and prevent them from being normal or perform their daily chores – this is called postpartum anxiety. Various research has shown that about 8.5 percent of postpartum moms have an anxiety disorder.
The most common fears include excess tension about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a feeling of insecurity about the infant, constant fear about the baby’s health, etc. Often, the infamous mommy guilt takes over or the fear of being criticized for being a ‘bad’ parent.
Whatever is the situation that triggers the disorder, seeking professional help at the right time is important.
There are various ways to treat PPD – antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, etc. While these are proven to be effective, the love and understanding of the spouse and other family members help immensely. New mothers can also practice post-natal yoga to calm the body and the mind. Certain lifestyle changes like taking care of the body, pampering, having an active social life also helps.
Treating PPD is of utmost importance, just like treating any other illness. Treating postpartum depression is vital to get back on track, to lead a normal life, and most importantly, to be a happy mother for a happy baby. The idea is to be aware and ask for professional help when needed rather than sulk in depression. It is important to understand that ignoring the symptoms or shying away from the situation can only worsen it.
Motherhood is a lovely choice that a woman makes along with her partner; it is not worth to waste this wonderful phase of life in the tentacles of depression. The best thing is to face depression head-on, seek help, and move on.
Janam Ghutti For Babies: Benefits and Side Effects
Safe and Unsafe Mosquito Repellents For Babies by Dr Chetan Ginigeri
Bread For Babies – Safety, Right Age, Precautions
Tofu For Babies: When To Introduce And Health Benefits
Bronchiolitis in Babies – Causes, Signs, and Treatments by Dr. Srikanta J T
Living With Severe Combined Immunodeficiency in Babies – Do’s and Don’ts by Dr. Sagar Bhattad