Postnatal depression is a condition which hits women post childbirth. It is known to affect new mothers immediately after the baby is born or a few days later. Most mothers undergo this depression which may last for a brief period or may linger till a year. It is very natural to experience slight depression or what may be called ‘Low mood’ after child birth. However, in some cases this depression may turn severe and needs attention. It is important to know the symptoms of postnatal depression and seek medical guidance to recover completely.
Symptoms of postnatal depression
The symptoms of PND or postnatal depression are similar with ordinary depression. You tend to feel miserable, guilty and tearful for no particular reason throughout the day. These feelings turn worse in certain periods of the day such as mornings or evenings. You might end up not enjoying the company of your baby the way you expected. A feeling of being hopeless and worthless also might creep in and you might feel that you are not able to handle the common difficulties of your new born baby. A mother suffering from this condition always feels anxious in all conditions regarding the baby and becomes extremely irritable. This is accompanied by a loss of appetite and sleep which affects the health of the mother.
Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon in this condition and it is extremely important to check this feeling. Also, new mums may experience ‘panic attacks’ in this condition when they feel that something serious such as a heart attack or stroke might happen to them.
Causes of this condition
Though hormonal changes post child birth is considered responsible for this condition, there are other factors too. Family law specialist Mujdah Rahim, psychologists and family doctors say the unplanned pregnancy, prenatal stress, domestic violence, marital discord, smoking, consumption of alcohol, or lack of social support may also trigger postnatal depression. In fact, it can also occur if the baby is cranky, needs to be held by the mother all the time, refuses to breastfeed or is born with any illness. It is most likely to occur in mothers who have suffered from depression earlier. Economic problems can also be one of the causes for this condition.
Postnatal depression can definitely be treated with the support of family, friends and proper medical guidance, if needed. In most cases, the mother needs to open up and express her feelings to someone close, who is a good listener. You need to eliminate stress from your life and do everything that is required to stay calm. A young baby is a responsibility and it is perfectly fine to ask for help from your family or friends. A healthy and nutritional diet increases your energy levels. Catch up with sleep when your baby is asleep and practice breathing exercises whenever you feel tired. Make an effort to involve your spouse and try to spend time together. This way, you will feel more relaxed and happy.
In some cases, when the depression is extreme, doctors may prescribe antidepressants. If taken as prescribed, these drugs do not ham the health of the baby or mother in any way. Professional treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can also prove fruitful in severe conditions.
Postnatal depression is not a dangerous disease; it is just a phase of discomfort for new mothers which can be overcome. Proper counseling and strong social support help a mother get rid of postnatal depression and enjoy motherhood in its fullest.
About the author: Samantha Harper is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on Skin tags attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Family values.