Postpartum depression is a reality. Know more.
Ever heard of baby blues? 80% of new mothers have baby blues for a week or two after delivery. This is completely normal and is temporary.
On the other hand, postpartum depression is a very serious mental disorder that’s long-lasting and it affects relationships and quality of life. It affects 15% of first-time moms and those who’ve given birth before leading to severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness. The intensity of those feelings can make it difficult to care for yourself or the baby.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person each day. A person with postpartum depression may observe severe changes in the behavior such as:
- Feeling of sadness with no justifiable reason
- Exhausted, but can’t sleep or ends up sleeping too much
- Aversion towards food or extreme intake of it
- Unexplained aches, pains, or illnesses
- Irritable, anxious, or angry
- Mood swings
- Emotions feel out of control
- Difficulty remembering things
- Difficulty concentrating or making simple decisions
- The feeling of disconnect from the baby
- Intrusive thoughts about harming themselves or the baby
It is extremely important that family and friends take notice of such behavior to avoid future complications. The symptoms of postpartum depression are likely to surface within weeks of delivery and sometimes even take months.
Causes of postpartum depression
During pregnancy, estrogen levels and progesterone are higher than usual. Within hours of delivery, the hormone levels fall back to their normal range. This shift may lead to depression.
Some other physical factors may include:
- low thyroid hormone levels
- sleep deprivation
- inadequate diet
- underlying medical conditions
- drug and alcohol misuse
Postpartum depression can affect all women after childbirth but more often women who have a history of life events such as poor marital relationships and lack of support. It may develop if the mother has an incidence of mood disorders or if the mental illness runs in the family. Others emotional stressors may include:
- recent divorce or death of a loved one
- mother or child have serious health problems
- social isolation
- financial burdens
Effects of postpartum depression
Postpartum psychosis is a rare, serious mental disorder that affects 1 out of 500-1,000 new mothers. The onset is usually within the first six weeks after delivery. The mother may completely lose touch with reality. She may have thoughts of harming herself or her child. Women who have bipolar disorder or any other psychiatric problem have a greater risk of developing postpartum psychosis.
Facts and statistics
According to a study conducted on 973 women by home visits or phone interviews, it has been found that:
- 26.5% had onset of depression symptoms before pregnancy
- 33.4% started having symptoms of depression during pregnancy
- 40.1% noticed symptoms of depression after childbirth
- Postpartum anxiety affects more than 1 in 5 women following childbirth.
- Postpartum psychosis affects 1 – 2/ 1,000 women after childbirth.
- It’s estimated that up to 25% of fathers experience depression in the first year postpartum.
Tips to help deal with postpartum depression
- Communicate: Temptation of keeping your feelings to yourself would not help to cope with postpartum depression. It’s not necessary to have a whirlwind social life, but find someone you trust to talk to. Try joining groups of new moms for extra support.
- Cut back on chores: Use your energy to take care of basic needs for you and your baby. Take help from family and friends.
- Rest and relax: If your baby doesn’t sleep for long periods, get someone to take a shift so you can sleep. If you have trouble drifting off, try a hot bath, a good book, or whatever helps you relax. Meditation and massage may help ease tension and help you fall asleep.
Postpartum depression and homeopathy
Postpartum psychosis has long-lasting consequences for mother and child. Besides sleep and eating disturbances, exhaustion and anxiety, postpartum depression can also interfere with normal maternal-infant bonding and adversely affect child development.
Homeopathy for postpartum depression is both free of side-effects and inexpensive. It is long-lasting and prevents recurrence of the disorder.
There are reports of non-compliance of women with postpartum depression with conventional treatment and the reluctance of breastfeeding women to take antidepressant medication as it is a risk for the baby. Therefore, homeopathy offers the safest and most natural solution both for the mother and child.