In some countries, when a baby is born, people hope that mothers will be happy with the arrival of this new life-changing being. But this does not always happen, because the arrival of a baby implies a great change , perhaps the greatest change that a person can experience.
The radical change that mothers face before the arrival of a baby generates worries, new responsibilities, uncertainty, fear, happiness, sadness and at the same time a lot of anxiety . This occurs mainly in new mothers , as they are going through a new stage, from which they will not be able to go back.
Some mothers go through a stage of depression during the last month of pregnancy, but usually this stage occurs before the birth of a baby.
Postpartum brings mixed feelings and confused emotions , which are dominated mainly by anguish, fear and anxiety; We call this process postpartum depression.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a severe form of clinical depression related to pregnancy and childbirth. It generally occurs in new mothers, but it is not uncommon to see episodes of this psychopathology in mothers who already have other children or even in fathers as well.
Postpartum depression can start at any time during the baby’s first year , although its effects usually begin to be seen during the first 3 weeks after birth.
This clinical picture of depression mainly causes feelings of guilt and anguish in mothers. They feel dejected and hopeless because they cannot connect with their baby in an affectionate way.
According to statistics, it is one of the most common types of depression. In a study that evaluated 10,000 mothers with newborns, it was found that about 1 in 7 suffers from postpartum depression.
Why does postpartum depression occur?
As a new mom, a woman faces many challenges that she gets used to in life with a newborn. Now there is a concern greater than all other concerns: the life of a baby.
Changing diapers, constantly breastfeeding, new responsibilities and lack of sleep are some of the factors that can generate this clinical picture.
Hormones also play a fundamental role in postpartum depression, since when you are pregnant, hormonal levels increase and after delivery they decrease sharply, creating a slight or high – depending on each individual – emotional imbalance.
Postpartum depression symptoms
Among the symptoms that are suffered in postpartum depression we can highlight:
- Eating disorders
- Aggressive thoughts
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Muscle pains
- Memory loss
- Loss of self- esteem
- Physical fatigue and emotional fatigue
The symptoms of this type of depression can fluctuate; some mothers may have all of the above or just some of those on the list.
How to treat a postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a serious illness that emotionally weakens mothers and can have repercussions for their children . It is not the result of a character flaw or weakness, or some mistake the mother made. Instead, it is a serious mental illness that needs care and treatment.
Like all types of depression, the sufferer lacks control over it. That is why it is important to intercept it in time so that its effects do not damage the human psyche, or cause secondary damage to other people.
Mild postpartum depression clears up on its own within three months after delivery. If we are faced with a person who we believe is starting a stage of postpartum depression, we must intervene, offer help and support . Mothers need to be able to take time off, away from daily household chores and caring for their newborn.
If the depression does not disappear after three months and interferes with the normal functioning of the mother, we are talking about Severe postpartum depression , which will need immediate intervention.
This form of depression can be treated with medications or a combination of medications and psychotherapy , the latter being more effective. If the depression continues with the help of medications and psychotherapy, the psychotherapist will evaluate the patient’s hospitalization.
If the symptoms are especially severe , with suicidal thoughts and delusions, electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock may be used. Such therapy is frequently used to treat major depression that has not responded effectively to other treatments.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.