Regardless of how hard or easy the labor went, when a mother holds her child for the first time, she feels immense joy. However (not that often, luckily), just a few hours after the birth of the baby, the new mother’s thoughts can go down the wrong, sad and depressive road… This is known as the post-partum depression and if it happens, professional help is needed.
According to doctors, the birth of a child can trigger various tumultuous emotions. From excitement, joy, through the state of psychic overwork, or anxiety, to fear … But it can also result in an unexpected state – depression. Many mothers feel postpartum difficulties of mild intensity, characterized by varying mood, tension, irritability, anxiety, reduced concentration, and sleeping difficulties.
To help you in being closer to knowing if you have postpartum depression or not, and to help you get an insight into how to deal with it, we’ve decided to write a guide. In this guide, we will explain the symptoms and how to deal with them. Also, we will talk about how to get through the whole stressful state and be able to enjoy being with your little angel.
Why Do I Feel Bad After the Birth of My Child?
You probably thought that after you give birth to your baby, it will be the best time in your life. However, you’ve been feeling bad since the birth and you can’t explain why. Don’t worry, you are definitely not the only mother feeling this way. In fact, a certain degree of vulnerability and bad mood right after birth is completely normal. Also, around 80% of mothers are mildly depressed after giving birth.
Furthermore, you will most likely have trouble sleeping, have crying urges and be cranky, but as soon as you rest and have a good night’s sleep, you will feel much better. These problems usually last no more than two weeks after giving birth. However, if it gets worse by the day and goes over two weeks, you might be suffering from the postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Giving birth to a child leads to a powerful emotional flood. From excitement and joy, to fear and anxiety, and mixing these emotions together can easily lead to depression.
Around 10% of new moms experience the normal, mild depression symptoms increasing and becoming worse by the day. This affects the quality of everyday life and if it lasts more than 3 weeks, the doctors need to be consulted so that the right steps are taken and the recovery period is short.
What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is not caused by just one reason but plenty. The most common reasons are of a physical nature. The drastic drop of estrogen and progesterone, as well as the thyroid gland hormone, makes you feel slow and tired. And, the change of mood can also be caused by the change of the blood pressure and changes in the immune system.
All of this can make you feel like you’ve lost control of your life and make you think that you aren’t capable of taking care of yourself, not to mention about your baby. Furthermore, many life problems can contribute to postpartum depression. Problems such as taking care of your older child, having trouble with breastfeeding, financial problems, lack of support from your partner and the family…
How to Recognize the Symptoms of postpartum Depression?
The most common symptoms of postpartum depression are:
- · Feeling sad and crying a lot
- · Having problems with concentration
- · Having problems with sleeping
- · Lack of appetite or too much appetite
- · Being anxious
- · Mood swings
- · Avoiding friends and family
- · Feeling guilty all the time
Very often, some moms have the panic fear of not being able to take care of their baby or that they will hurt her unintentionally. Also, negative thoughts usually occur with mothers that suffer from postpartum depression.
Does Postpartum Depression Risk Group Exist?
After giving birth to a child, all women are going through emotional changes and there isn’t a rule that can point out to who will suffer from postpartum depression and who won’t. However, there are factors that lead to a slightly higher chance of suffering from this issue. And, these factors include:
- · A family member that suffers from depression
- · If the pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted
- · If you have marital problems
- · If you had huge life changes during the pregnancy (for example, moving to another city, losing a job…)
- · Having a hard labor
- · If you have problems with thyroid gland
However, having any of the listed factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely suffer from postpartum depression. It just means that the chances are slightly higher, that’s all.
When Should You Look for Professional Help?
You should look for professional help if your depression symptoms last more than two weeks and if they keep getting worse instead of more and more mild. Also, if you find it extremely difficult to do anything around the house and feel like you can’t take care of yourself and your baby. And, seek help immediately if you have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby.
How do You Cure Postpartum Depression?
Sometimes, all it takes is a nice, long talk with your partner or a friend or a family member. Also, having someone to help you around the baby also helps a lot. However, if it’s serious and the symptoms are strong, professional help is a must.
For a more holistic approach learn about turmeric curcumin and its antidepressant effects.
Furthermore, if the doctor determines that you suffer from a harder form of postpartum depression, you will get a prescription for antidepressants. Also, keeping a healthy lifestyle helps a lot.
The sooner you face and identify the problem, the sooner you will start feeling better and be there for your baby.
Does Postpartum Depression Affect the Baby?
If not treated properly, postpartum depression can lead to problems with recognizing and focusing on your baby’s needs. And, due to lack of energy and bad mood, you can start feeling guilty, lose your self-confidence, and make the depression even worse.
Also, doctors think that postpartum depression affects the baby in a way that it cries a lot (almost all the time), and that later, the child might have problems with speech development.
All in all, postpartum depression is not a huge problem if you recognize it in time and get the right help from the right people. Don’t worry, a large percentage of new moms feel slightly depressed right after giving birth and that is normal. But, if it gets worse by the day and lasts longer than two weeks, and talking with the people you love doesn’t help, go and see your doctor.
WebMD – Article – “Postpartum Depression” – https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/postpartum-depression#1
Mayo Clinic – Article – Postpartum Depression – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617
National Institute of Mental Health – Article – Postpartum Depression Facts – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml
US National Library of Medicine – Article -Postpartum Depression – Also called: Post-pregnancy depression https://medlineplus.gov/postpartumdepression.html