Postpartum depression: An untouched aspect of motherhood
Pregnancy changes a woman’s life in ways unimaginable. The joy of motherhood is often described as the greatest joy in the world. However, many mothers face a unique challenge after the delivery of their newborns in the form of postpartum depression. At Doctors Clinic Blog, we bring you a comprehensive guide to postpartum depression and how to recover from it. Take a look:
What is postpartum depression?
Most women undergo a phase of emptiness and disinterest after the birth of their baby. Termed as ‘baby blues’, this phase is generally over within three to five days. However, if the condition persists for more than two weeks, it is referred to as ‘postpartum depression’.
How common is postpartum depression?
Just like ‘baby blues’, postpartum depression is a fairly common condition among new mothers. One in nine mothers experience this depression for some duration after the birth of their child.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
The symptoms of postpartum depression are varied and extensive. While the feelings of overwhelm and general disinterest are quite common due to some normal changes after pregnancy, it is recommended to consult a doctor if you are:
- Crying a lot
- Feeling restless
- Having mood swings
- Having thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby
- Eating too much or too little
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling like a bad mother
- Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Having memory problems
- Having trouble making decisions
- Feeling disconnected to the baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
What causes postpartum depression?
During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are at their highest in a woman’s body. When the hormone levels quickly drop to the normal ones after childbirth, this creates a state of hormonal imbalance. This is considered to be the primary cause behind postpartum depression. Other factors include:
- Tiredness after labour and delivery
- Lack of sleep
- Doubts about the ability of being a good mother
- Grief about the loss of ‘before pregnancy’ personality
- Stress from changed routine at work and at home
How can postpartum depression be treated?
Postpartum depression can be treated through a variety of treatments. Some of them are:
- Therapy: Talking to a therapist can help manage the condition better by understanding why you are feeling the way you are feeling. The therapist can also help create effective strategies to cope up from the condition.
- Medicine: In case therapy fails to help, you can always consult a doctor to get some antidepressants prescribed. It is important that you take any medicine after due prescription from your doctor, so that it doesn’t affect your baby while you breastfeed.
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): This procedure is considered to be the last resort while treating postpartum depression.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be an overwhelming experience for new mothers. However, with the right guidance at every step, you can cope up with postpartum depression in no time!