Giving birth to a baby can be quite nerve-racking. No matter how long you have waited to deliver your baby and care for your child as well. Getting baby blues is normal, but if it does not seem to disappear after a free day and if it worsens, then you may be dealing with Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression. Postpartum depression can often intervene with your capability to care for your child. With enough support and treatment, you will be able to feel better while following your way to motherhood.

Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression in New Mothers

Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression in New Mothers

Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression is a grave problem and it is something that you should not ignore. The symptoms of postpartum depression are severe and can last longer as well. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression or postnatal depression include:

  • Loss of concern in taking care of the baby
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Repeated suicidal thoughts
  • Bothered about harming your baby
  • Absence of self-concern
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Negative feelings towards your baby
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Hypersomnia or sleeping than the usual time.

Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression is usually noticed right after the child is born and can develop in a few months or it can come suddenly in women and the signs will not appear right after the birth in some women.

Signs and Symptoms of Post-partum Psychosis

Post-partum psychosis is a serious disorder, but is rarely seen. It can begin later to giving birth to a child and is often characterized by certain disinterest in the real world. Post-partum psychosis must be counted as a medical necessity. As the risk of infanticide or suicide is higher, a mother may require hospitalization to keep the infant secure.

Post-partum psychosis builds up unexpectedly, usually following the first 2 weeks subsequent to delivering the baby and sometimes even in a period of forty eight hours. The symptoms of postpartum psychosis may include:

  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Swift mood swings
  • Weird behavior
  • Lack of ability or denial to consuming food or even sleep
  • Thoughts of killing or harming the baby
  • Delusions
  • Anxiety and extreme agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal actions or thoughts

Causes and Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression in New Mothers

The reasons why certain new mothers get this Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression and some do not are not really known. The risk factors and the interrelated causes contribute to this disorder in an unusual way. The following are the major causes of postpartum depression or postnatal depression in new mothers:

  • Fluctuation in Hormones: After giving birth to the child, new mothers encounter a massive drop in progesterone and estrogen levels. The drop in the levels of thyroid can further cause depression and fatigue. The rapid changes in hormones along with changes in functioning of the immune system and blood pressure as well as metabolism may give rise to postpartum depression in new mothers.
  • Emotional and Physical Changes: After the childbirth, there may be emotional and physical changes observed in the body. New mothers may be dealing with pain after delivery or find it difficult to lose the baby-weight. This may also make you feel insecure about the appearance as well as sexual charm.
  • Stress from Taking Care of the Baby: The stress that comes from taking care of the baby can also contribute to postpartum depression. Sleep deprivation can be observed. New mothers may feel anxious or overwhelmed about the ability to be concerned for their baby in the right way. Making certain adjustments may be difficult for a new mother as well.

Can Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression Affect the Babies?

Postpartum depression can often impede your ability to care for your kid as well as yourself. You are not a bad parent, if you are a victim of Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression. It may impossible to care for the needs of your newborn child if you are occupied with depressive symptoms like apathy, fatigue, tearfulness and irritability. When depression is not treated in the right manner, it may affect your baby as well.

Lifestyle Changes for Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression in New Mothers

All you can do is take care of yourself when you are having postpartum depression. The more you care for your emotional and mental health, the more you will feel better. Making simple changes in the lifestyle can help you in feeling like yourself and managing Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression.

  • Get Adequate Amount of Sleep: It may seem difficult to get complete sleep for eight hours when you have to handle the needs of a baby. Poor sleep can also worsen the depression, so it is necessary to get adequate amount of rest. You can ask help from your husband, friends and family while you are taking naps.
  • Spend Quality Time in Relaxing: Take a pause from your responsibilities as a mother and relax. You can find ways to spoil yourself by savoring on a hot beverage or indulge in a fragrant bubble bath.
  • Have Food on Time: Nutrition is your best friend when you are depressed. The food that you eat will have an effect on the breast milk quality, so it is important for you to adopt healthy meal habits.
  • Get Proper Amount of Sunlight: Sunlight boosts your mood. Try to expose yourself to sun for at least 15 minutes every single day.
  • Make a Habit of Exercising: Exercise proves to be effective as compared to medication while treating depression. There is no need for you to overdo anything. Just brisk walking for 30 minutes will be the best thing that you can do.

Ask for Support and Help When in Need:

  • Stay Connected with Family and Friends: When you are vulnerable and depressed, it is important for you to stay connected with your friends as well as family. Isolation will only make things worse, so make your relationship with others a priority. Let your loved ones understand the kind of support that you need and seek their help.
  • Share your Feelings and Experiences: Apart from granting you practical help, your family and friends can be your emotional vent. Share about all the bad things that you are experiencing without any hesitation. As long as you are getting support and assurance, be sure to share your thoughts with others.
  • Join a local New Mom Community: You may consider joining a group of new mothers who are in the same phase of transition even if you have supportive friends who will be there by your side. It may be reassuring to share the experiences with other mothers and feel that they are facing your kind of worries as well. Support groups like Mommy and Me has been offering help to all the new mothers in coping with the stress. Take referrals from your pediatrician and locate such resources in your area.

Coping Tips for Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression among New Mothers

The following tips can help you in copingwithPostpartum depression or Postnatal depression:

  • Find people who can help you run errands, do the housework and take care of the child while you are resting.
  • Take some time out of your daily schedule to spend with yourself. Relax and feel good about yourself every single day.
  • Maintain a journal of your thoughts and emotions. Let every single thought flow through your journal and you can connect the dots to see your progress.
  • After accomplishing something, do not hesitate to pat your back. Above all, do not be too hard on yourself.
  • Permit yourself to feel overwhelmed at times.
  • Remember that people do not expect you to be a super mom.
  • Be honest with yourself about the things you do and seek help from others as well.

Treatment for Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression in New Mothers

Even if after getting enough support if you are struggling to cope with postpartum depression, you will have to seek help of a professional. Postpartum depression responds to therapy and the medication that is offered in regular depression. You can also rely on various support groups without any constraints.

  • Hormonal Therapy: ERT or Estrogen replacement therapy can help in handling Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression. Estrogen is combined with antidepressant and used for treating the depression. Make a point to speak to your physicist about the risks of the treatment.
  • Anti-Depressant Medicines: Anti-depressants may be opted if the depression is severely seen. Medications can always be assisted by therapy and the physician may closely monitor you as well.
  • Individual Therapy: A therapist will help you in dealing with the adjustments that you are trying to make. If you are facing any difficulties in marriage, then counseling may be of great help.

Helping Your Partner with Postpartum Depression or Postnatal Depression

If your wife or partner is going through Postpartum depression or Postnatal depression, you can offer her support. Be a good listener and understand her issues as well. New mothers may also care for their body and also your baby by asking their partner to help them with dealing depression. The Following ways can be useful in helping your partner with postpartum depression or postnatal depression:

  • Support your Partner to Share Her Feelings: Be a good listener rather than trying to offer her a solution. Be her shoulder for support in emotional times.
  • Share Responsibilities of Home: Try to share the responsibilities of home and your child. Do not wait for your partner to seek your helping hand.
  • Encourage Your Partner to Rest: It is important to relax and rest. Encourage your partner to take rest, take her on a date night or schedule babysitting hours.
  • Understand if Your Partner is not Ready for Sex: Depression can interfere with sex appetite, so help her in getting back to the mood. Do not push her for having sex, instead offer her affection.
  • Encourage Your Partner to Exercise: Doing regular exercise can help in relieving depression, but can be difficult to get back in the mood especially when you are feeling low. Support your partner by setting up walk hours together.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 1, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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