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Postpartum depression

by Dr Varun Prabha 06 Mar 2023 0 Comments

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a real thing and many women across the globe are suffering from it. 

Before moving further, we need to understand the meaning of this term "postpartum depression". It's a kind of depression, that a woman faces after giving birth. Although giving birth has always been a joyous moment in any women's life and it brings a tremendous amount of happiness to the family, besides all these, postpartum depression involves extreme sadness and despair. 

It is not exactly related to a women's health only, rather many other reasons are equally responsible for this phase. Sudden changes in a woman's body after giving birth lead to disturbances in her overall being. Like hormonal changes lead to varied physical and mental changes in the new mother's body. Also a sudden load of increased responsibility results in an altered bodily response, it can be psychological and physical both. And during this phase, if the family is not supportive, not have enough understanding, the consequences can be bitter.

Therefore, it's basically a complex mix of physical, psychological and behavioral changes in many females which happens after giving birth to a newborn.

Not every female suffers from this, but yes, a huge population of new mothers faces this situation. It can be with the first pregnancy or with every pregnancy. It usually starts after two or three days of delivery. Duration of postpartum depression is variable. It can last for a few weeks, a few months to years. 

Postpartum depression can be triggered by many factors. The female who just has given birth to a tiny being already is very vulnerable physically and emotionally due to sudden changes in her body and extreme hormonal fluctuations. So at this point, any provoking factor can trigger or hit the depressing phase in the new mother. 

How can we understand or recognize the signs of postpartum depression. Changes in behaviour to some extent is quite normal in mothers after giving birth to their tiny beings. The changes listed below are quite normal and sometimes called as “baby blues”-

  1. Mood swings 
  2. Yelling
  3. Crying
  4. Anxiety
  5. Difficulty sleeping
  6. Sometimes feeling detachment from the child
  7. Sadness
  8. Irritability
  9. Feeling overwhelmed
  10. Decreased appetite

But if these changes or symptoms doesn't improve with time, if their severity increases...then it can be “postpartum depression”. 

Like any other health issue, this also needs proper clinical checkup, confirmation, treatment and management. And if gets confirmed, treatment and management started accordingly and trust me it's not difficult to manage this condition. Timely diagnosis is the most important thing.

The following are the symptoms of postpartum depression-

  1. Excessive crying without knowing the exact reason for it
  2. Severe mood swings or can say the overall depressed mood
  3. Either insomnia or excessive sleep
  4. Difficulty bonding with the baby
  5. Detachment from family and friends 
  6. Not feeling like having any talk with anybody
  7. Severe weakness, feeling of drained off, severe fatigue, low on energy
  8. Appetite changes like either lack of appetite or eating too much
  9. Intense anger, irritability 
  10. Hopelessness
  11. Difficulty in focusing on anything
  12. Have no interest in doing things that you like doing earlier
  13. Anxiety, panic attacks
  14. Feeling of worthlessness
  15. Recurrent suicidal thoughts
  16. Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  17. Repeated feeling that you are not a good mother

The symptoms can vary, one may have all the given symptoms or few of them. Timely diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression are very important otherwise it may last for a longer duration may be for years. Or it can lead to “postpartum psychosis” which is further more dangerous.

So after understanding the symptoms how we really can help the new mum?  

First of all, don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed, postpartum depression is quite common and if treated timely it can save the whole family. So if you feel any of these changes, you should talk to your closed ones and should get the medical help immediately. And if any of the family member notices these change, he/ she should take the necessary actions without harming the new mum's confidence. 

So when you consult the concerned doctor, he/ she will perform their test like depression screening and other required investigations, and will prescribe few necessary medicines and piece of advices which you need to follow religiously. With the proper treatment, following steps are extremely important to obey for getting the desired positive result-

  • Get proper rest, as much as your body and mind needs
  • Ask for help from family or friends
  • Take care of yourself along with your baby on a priority basis
  • Eat well, eat a balanced and nutritional diet
  • Include some exercise in your daily life
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try to socialize, connect with your old friends
  • Share your feelings with other new mommies
  • Indulge yourself in some of your hobbies
  • Keep your expectations real, don’t try to be a super mom or a super women
  • Avoid being alone 

Note worthy points 

Post partum depression is not any kind of weakness or character flaw it’s just one of the after effects of giving birth which may occur due to many factors like earlier emotional disturbances and many changes that happen in a new mum's body. Any new mom can experience postpartum depression, so don’t get hesitant, the sooner you will get the help, the sooner you will be able to cope with the condition. For a healthy and happy child, a healthy and happy mother is most important or can say vital.

This is for today…will come up with a new topic soon. So cheers to this beautiful life and live it fully 😊

Do tell me how you like this piece of information in the comment box, your lovely words always motivate me to write better.

About the author : Dr. Varun Prabha is a dentist and has experience and various qualifications in the healthcare sector. Apart from this, she is a blogger, author, and YouTube host. She loves sharing her parenthood experiences with other mommies. Connect with her on Instagram (varunprabha.gupta) and Facebook (Varun Prabha Gupta).

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