How to Deal with Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that some mothers might experience after the birth of their new baby. If you suspect that you might be suffering from postpartum depression, then it’s time to take the next step and treat it immediately. Some moms might feel as though they don’t need the depression chat room. However, treating postpartum depression is necessary for both mom and baby.
“Postpartum depression is said to affect about one in every eight mothers,” says Jared Friedman, MA. “It is a real, clinical form of depression and requires treatment and attention just like any other mental illness.”
After giving birth, a mom usually experiences a mixture of emotions from joy to anxiety. Moms of newborns usually feel stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed. However, if these emotions have become too powerful and you’re feeling as though you’re never going to be a good mom or you just can’t do it, then you’re most likely suffering from depression. Often at times, postpartum baby blues are confused with postpartum depression. Postpartum baby blues usually occur after 2-3days after birth and they can last for up to 2 weeks. Postpartum depression is more severe and lasts much longer.
“They are able to function in their roles but have significant anxiety and mood symptoms that rob them of the joy of being a mother and interfere with their ability to develop good attachment and bonding with their infants,” says Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH.
Why Does Postpartum Depression Occur?
Your hormones increase during pregnancy and then suddenly drop after giving birth. This triggers postpartum depression.
Depression can be genetic and if anyone else in the family has suffered with it, then there’s a possibility that you will too.
Other Stress and Problems:
Problems between you and your partner or other family members can trigger postpartum depression. Sometimes your family or partner may not be there to offer their support or you might have financial issues, these factors lead to postpartum depression. If you’ve had an alcohol or drug addiction problem, then you’re also at risk for postpartum depression.
Problems During Pregnancy:
Whether it was complications with your pregnancy or other issues in your life that you were faced with during pregnancy. These factors also increase the risk of postpartum depression.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
“Postpartum symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth,” says John M. Grohol, PsyD.
- Severe depression and mood swings.
- Loss of appetite.
- Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed such as sex, or any activities that you previously enjoyed.
- Thoughts about harming your baby or even yourself.
- Crying excessively.
- Not being able to bond with your baby.
- Either difficulty with falling asleep or sleeping too much.
- Fear of not being a good mother.
- Anxiety or panic attacks.
- The inability to concentrate.
- Feelings of worthlessness.
- Fatigue and lack of energy.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Why Does Postpartum Depression Require Immediate Treatment?
If postpartum depression is left untreated, it can lead to other major issues, not just in the mother’s life, but the fathers and baby are too. The mother is at risk of chronic depression or episodes of depression. Due to the mother’s depression, the father is also at risk of depression and it could strain your marriage. Your child is also at risk of emotional and behavioral disorders. They are also at risk of suffering from eating and sleeping problems. Along with delays in their development.
Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression
Consult Your Doctor or Primary Health Caregiver:
A health professional needs to diagnose you. They can also do a thorough examination of you and advise you on the best way to move forward and how to treat it.
Therapy and Counseling:
By talking to either a psychologist, psychiatrist or a therapist, it could help you solve any problems that you are faced. They will also help you with managing your emotions and understanding it.
Antidepressants can help with treating postpartum depression. These medications help with balancing the chemicals in the brain. Ensure that you notify your psychiatrist if you’re breastfeeding so that they can prescribe medications that are safe for breastfeeding.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle:
Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. These can help with treating postpartum depression. If it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep with your baby, then try and take naps during the day.