Postpartum blues and postpartum depression is a fairly common phenomenon; seldom, a dangerous form of post natal depression known as postpartum psychosis develops after childbirth. Prompt and timely treatment can help manage your symptoms and enjoy your baby.
Possible Causes Of Postnatal Depression
After the delivery, there’s a drastic dip in the hormones – estrogen and progesterone in the body and this is known to trigger postpartum depression.
When you are weary, sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you tend to have trouble handling the smallest of problems. You may be worried about your aptitude to care for the baby. You may scuffle with your sense of identity. You could also feel that you seem to have lost control over your life. All these result in postnatal depression.
A very demanding baby or older siblings, difficulty whilst nursing, financial trouble, and lack of support from family contribute to postnatal depression.
Signs And Symptoms Of Postnatal Depression
Postpartum blues last only a week or two and the symptoms are:
- Sadness and crying
- Mood swings
- Reduced concentration
- Difficulty in sleeping
Postpartum depression symptoms that are more intense and last longer, ultimately hampering your capacity to care for your baby and handle day to day tasks. Symptoms include:
- Appetite loss
- No joy in life
- Failure to bond with baby.
- Acute irritability and anger, with mood swings.
- A feeling of guilt, shame or insufficiency.
- Drawing away from family and friends.
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
How To Deal With Postnatal Depression?
- First and foremost you need to make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat healthy foods, exercise daily and steer clear of alcohol.
- Never pressure yourself to do everything. Do what you can and leave the rest. Importantly, you need to ask for help when you need.
- Set out some time for yourself. When you feel overwhelmed, ask someone to babysit, and head out for a jog or coffee or spend some quality time with your partner.
- Avoid isolation. Talk with your partner, family and friends about how you’re feeling. Remember that the best way to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself.
- Counseling plays a pivotal role in managing a case of postnatal depression successfully. It helps to talk your concerns with a counselor / mental health professional. Counseling will help you to discover better ways to deal with your feelings, resolve problems and set realistic goals.
- Anti-depressants are recommended by doctors in extreme cases. Anti-depressants are a proven therapy for post natal depression. In case you are breast-feeding, you must know that the medications will enter the breast milk. Some anti-depressants can be taken whilst you breast-feed with little danger of side effects for the baby. Confer with your health care provider to consider the benefits and risks of anti-depressants.
- Hormone therapy is useful too. Estrogen replacement counteracts the drop in estrogen level which typically accompanies childbirth, and this will allay the symptoms of postpartum depression in some. As with the anti-depressants, you need to discuss the advantages and risks associated with hormone therapy with your physician.