Symptoms, Causes, And Ways To Cope With Postpartum Depression
It’s not easy being a parent; and for most mothers, it’s also not easy to give birth and immediately be okay after carrying a child in the womb for nine months and giving birth. Instead of feeling the joy and excitement of being a new mom, some women feel a bit of sadness, exhaustion, anxiety, or even depression. According to the Medical News Today page, this is very common but should also be not taken lightly. It could become a type of mood disorder that can become severe and may last for a long time.
You may feel a bit weepy or exhausted during the first few days of giving birth, and this could actually be normal. This type of feeling has its own term: baby blues. It affects almost every mother who has just given birth, and the feelings associated with it would be tiredness, inability to control emotions, being tearful in most situations, and just plain laziness. It’s pretty normal to feel such since carrying a child in your body is actually very tiring. However, when postpartum depression sets in, serious help should be provided.
According to the Helpguide page, some people will have a hard time distinguishing baby blues from postpartum depression. People may think that one is just having the baby blues since they almost have the same symptoms. However, in postpartum depression, one should look out for the mother's the inability to take care of the newborn, suicidal thoughts, and other extreme actions that can affect one’s health, the baby, and also the partner or the family. These could last for a longer period and may eventually lead to fatal consequences if not treated. Some of the things one could expect when having postpartum depression are the following:
- Having feelings of death, suicide, pain, guilt, and even worthlessness
- Withdrawal from relationships
- Anxiety or feelings of anxiousness about everything
- Sleep deprivation
- Lack of appetite
- Lack of bonding or care for the baby
There is a certain scale called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale that is used to check if one has postpartum depression. A score of 13 and above on the scale would mean a thorough check-up should be done with a medical professional, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist in order to assess the level of depression a certain mother would have.
What Causes Postpartum Depression
There is no single cause of having postpartum depression. It can also occur in anybody who has just given birth. However, there are certain risk factors associated with the disorder and these could actually contribute to developing or worsening the illness.
- Hormones – there is a big drop in estrogen levels once a woman gives birth. Thyroid levels are also low, which can cause feelings of tiredness or low energy. These things can trigger postpartum depression.
- Changes in the body – a woman will undergo several physical changes during the pregnancy and after giving birth. Losing weight could be difficult and the pain from delivering a baby could also be traumatic for some women. In addition, one could lose confidence when they see that the changes are permanent.
- Stress – being a mother is also a stressful job. A woman may not be ready yet to take on a new role, which can cause eventual stress and anxiousness. The adjustments would also be difficult and could take time to process.
Coping with the Depression
Just like any other form of depression, this type of condition should not be taken lightly and should be discussed immediately with a medical professional. It may be difficult to admit it at first but it is essential that proper support and care be given to those suffering through this condition. According to the Healthline page, coping with the condition is a partnership with a doctor and the members of the household. There are also some things that can be done in order to ease the symptoms happening in everyday living.
A study published by Mental Health and Physical Activity Australia suggested that exercise is a form of antidepressant that can be effective for women with postpartum depression. Walking with the baby outside for some fresh air and sunshine could help the body cope with the condition. A routine jog or yoga can also help one with depression.
When the body receives healthy food, it could also help the mind become healthy in the long run. Having nutritious dishes at home or outside can help the body have the necessary nutrients to get back into shape.
Time for Rest and for Personal Activities
A mother should not be stuck at home taking care of the child all the time. You’ll need to find time for your personal activities such as going to the spa, having a haircut, shopping, and doing anything that you want, as long as you enjoy it. Afterwards, give yourself time to rest and relax to recuperate from childbirth.
Bond With Others
Try not to be alone as much as possible. Mothers who are usually alone have more time to think negatively and have lower mood levels. Speaking with a family member can help get one develop positive vibes and cope with postpartum depression.