"I'm delighted to be a new mum. But why I am so depressed?"
If you’re feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, you may be scared or ashamed to admit it. Depression after giving birth is neither a fault nor a flaw. Sometimes it's just a natural consequence of childbirth.
Whether it's your first or third child, the birth of a child can cause a burst of strong emotions, ranging from joy and excitement to fear and anxiety. Numerous bodily changes, including as hormone shifts, sleep disruptions, dietary and exercise changes, and hormonal changes, are the root of many of these feelings. Depression is a frequent condition and throughout the perinatal era, it is accompanied by symptoms of anxiety. About one in seven women have postnatal depression after giving birth, which is a serious public health issue. Earlier depression, traumatic life experiences, a stressful marriage, and a lack of social support are all significant risk factors. In this blog you will know what post-partum depression is! What are its symptom and how u can prevent post-partum depression?
What is Postpartum Depression?
PostPartum Depression is a mixture of emotional, mental and hormonal changes that can occur in some women up to a year after giving birth. Changes in the mood or lability and excessive worry over the baby are typical signs of postpartum depression in women.
The term Postpartum blues is different from postpartum depressions, which are usual in the first week to 10 days following birth and typically go away on their own within a few days. General symptoms include mood instability, impatience, interpersonal sensitivity, sleeplessness, anxiety, tearfulness, and occasionally elation.
Postpartum psychosis is characterized by a highly depressed mood, disordered thinking, psychotic thoughts, and delusions.
Common Symptoms of Post-Partum Depression
Postpartum depression symptoms can be difficult to recognize. Following are the signs that are experienced by most of the women after giving birth.
- Depression or Low mood
- Excessive crying
- Inability to connect with your child
- Detachment from relatives and friends
- Decreased appetite or excessive eating
- Insomnia or may be sleepy all the time
- Extreme fatigue
- Diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Extreme anxiety and frustration
- Feel worried that you're not a great mum
- Feelings of guilt, shame
- Diminished mental acuity
- Inability to focus or difficulty making decisions
- Severe anxiety, and panic attacks
Causes of Post-Partum Depression:
There is no single cause of postnatal depression, but the following emotional and physiological issues may play a role:
- The huge drop in estrogen and progesterone levels after giving birth could be a factor. Other hormone secreted by your endocrine system may also fall sharply, leaving you tired, sluggish, and depressed.
- Lack of sleep.When you're sleep-deprived and exhausted, you may struggle to deal with even minor issues.
- You could be concerned about your ability to provide care for a newborn.
- Self-image.You can feel less gorgeous, have identity issues, or lack a sense of control over your life. Any one of these problems may be a factor in postpartum depression.
How to manage Post-Partum Depression?
Whether you’re at risk of postpartum depression or not, you can get benefit from taking precautions to avoid postpartum depression. Prioritizing your health, seeking support and connection with others, and making time to enjoy motherhood can all be beneficial. Even if you take steps to avoid it, postpartum depression may still strike. If so, you may benefit from additional support or treatment.
1. Talk to Your Medical Team
If you start to feel depressed, anxious, or irritable more often than usual you should address this as quickly as possible. It can be beneficial to inform your healthcare professionals, such as your gynecologist (OBGYN) or nurse, physician, and psychotherapist if you believe you may be at risk of developing postpartum depression.
They will be able to keep a closer eye out for symptoms of postpartum depression and the baby blues and take appropriate action if necessary.
2. Get Active
Exercise can help to prevent postpartum depression whether you are pregnant or have recently given birth. Studies on the benefits of exercise for postpartum women have discovered that it can both assist treat depression symptoms and work to ward off the condition altogether.
For postpartum women, walking, jogging, yoga, and weight lifting are all beneficial exercises. If you want to start a workout routine, make sure to see your physician or gynecologist first.
Even if it may seem illogical after the last recommendation, adequate rest and sleep are crucial for both the physical and mental recovery from childbirth.You should give your health and well being first priority. Do not be hesitant to ask for whatever you require and create your own boundaries if you are feeling worn out or overburdened. Additionally, to aid in your postpartum recovery, give yourself permission to take a nap when the baby is resting and practice good sleep hygiene.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Getting enough nutrients can also assist in preventing and treating postpartum anxiety and depression. In postpartum women, low levels of specific nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are associated with depression. Efforts to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, whether through food or supplements, can assist to elevate your mood.
This nutrient can be found in kidney beans, flax, chia, and some types of fish, including salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
Healthy eating is especially crucial for breastfeeding mothers. You may require up to 500 more calories per day if you are nursing. Additionally, nursing mothers should limit their daily caffeine intake to not more than 300 mg.
5. Seek Breastfeeding Support
During the postpartum period, women who have difficulty in breastfeeding are more likely to experience depression. It's crucial to get assistance if breastfeeding is proving difficult for you. Breastfeeding difficulties like sore nipples, engorgement, latching issues, and insufficient milk supply are prevalent. Consult with your physician if you feel any difficulty in breastfeeding your child. They can advise you on how to overcome these difficulties and help you decide whether you need to use formula supplements.
6. Ask For Help
Caring for a newborn is a big job, and having the support of others around you can help a lot. If you are feeling stressed by the demands of motherhood, don't be hesitant to ask for or accept assistance. Getting help with cooking, cleaning, or running errands can alleviate some of your stress.
Accepting help from friends and family, hiring help if possible, or forming a helping system with another family can relieve some of your burden.
7. Connect with Your Baby
Skin-to-skin contact is a powerful way to strengthen your bond with your child and can help you feel less stressed and depressed after giving birth. Even if it means temporarily postponing housework or other obligations, try to allow yourself enough time each day to interact with your newborn.
8. Discuss With Other Mothers
If you are experiencing loneliness or isolated, make an effort to connect with one person everyday whether it is a friend, family member. Talk to other mothers, discuss your difficulties with them, this will help you in managing the things and helps to overcome post-par tum depression.