Post-Partum Depression In Mothers: Everything All About It
When you have become a new mother and you have given birth to your little one, then none can be happier than the mother herself. It becomes a sheer moment of joy for the parents and also for the family. But there are certain times after the baby is born the mother might not feel happy and physically well due to certain types of physiological and rapid hormonal changes after childbirth. One such type of syndrome is commonly known as ‘baby blue,’ and according to clinical psychology, it is known as post-partum depression or PPD or Peri-natal depression.
All You Need To Know About Post-Partum Depression
When a woman is pregnant and after the child is born, there occur immense changes in the levels of hormones, particularly the female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and thus the body of the mother also changes accordingly. These rampant changes in hormones and the body create a huge impact on the mother’s mental health and end up causing diseases like post-natal depression. Post-partum or post-natal depression is a severe clinical psychological disorder that leads to a complex change in the physical, emotional, and behavioral patterns of the new mother when she starts to feel a mix of several kinds of emotions at a time, particularly feelings of sadness, emptiness in the stomach, feelings of excessive tiredness and exhaustion, along with blatant changes in emotions and sudden mood swings. All these emotional changes start occurring among the mothers who have postpartum depression, just after the baby is born, and might continue for a long time after childbirth. Psychologists have said that post-partum depression usually starts occurring 4 weeks after delivery. Postpartum depression is a serious health disorder and should be considered seriously. If neglected for a long time, this condition might become fatal and the new mother might not be able to survive in the end, because the most severe thought and hopelessness that occurs to the mind of the new mother will cause the occurrence of suicidal thoughts into her mind and out of profound sadness she might think of ending her life. If treated properly with correct medications and with professional help such as counseling sessions, postpartum depression can be easily healed and both the mother and the child can enjoy a happy and prosperous future ahead.
Signs And Symptoms Of Post-Partum Depression
Initially, it is quite hard to determine the symptoms of postpartum depression because, the new mother just feels sad and everyone around her, including the mother herself, might take this lightly. But, there are certain common and noticeable symptoms of postpartum depression. Some of them are listed here as follows:
- Insomnia or difficulty in falling asleep
- Excessive feelings of sadness
- There is no or less libido
- Sudden and frequent mood swings
- Excessive tiredness and fatigue
- Incessant crying for no reason
- Changes in appetite
According to recent studies and experiments, it has been revealed that post-partum depression has some other symptoms too that will be noticeable as the disease progresses. Some of those symptoms are given below:
- an overwhelming feeling
- having suicidal thoughts
- excessive feeling of low ebb or feeling on the edge
- having thoughts of hurting the baby or yourself
- having no interest in hunger
- feeling of helplessness
- feeling depressed all the time
- loss of pleasure for living a better life
- excessive anxiety and panic attacks
- getting angry now and then
- it is difficult to move out of the bed
- a feeling of hopelessness and guilt
- thoughts of hurting one’s own self
- the feeling of being a bad and unworthy mother
- the new mother does not feel interested in the baby
- having no energy or motivation
- having chronic headaches, aches, pains, or feelings of emptiness in the stomach
Types Of Post-Partum Depression
Postpartum depression can be broadly divided into three main categories. They are as follows:
The Baby Blues
This type of psychological disorder is quite common among the majority of the new mothers, who suffer from baby blues just after giving birth to their young ones. Baby blues among new mothers are characterized by immense mood shifts and emotional ups and downs. New mothers suffering from baby blues might feel restless, suffer from high levels of anxiety and panic attacks, and will feel unnecessarily sad, guilty, and lonely. Baby blues may not be very severe as it lasts for only a couple of hours and might continue for one or two weeks. If you feel that baby blues are taking a longer period to recover, then it is highly advisable to take suggestions from your concerned physicians and to seek professional help from experts, though baby blues can be easily cured even without the help of health care experts. If necessary, you can talk to your near ones or to those who have already faced baby blues.
This is a severe type of psychological disease that occurs among new mothers just 3 to 4 weeks after childbirth and can be both physically and emotionally destructive as a disorder. This can last for a long time – from days to months and if you neglect this disease, it might become lethal. Almost all the similar symptoms are prevalent in postpartum depression such as sudden mood swings, anxiety, panics or anxiety attacks, feeling of sadness and guilt, and even suicidal thoughts as the new mother feel herself to be unworthy.
Post Partum Psychosis
This is a special and quite a severe type of PPD that includes a type of psychological disorder followed by severe illness that might occur to a new mother just 3 months after the delivery of her child. There are instances that women suffering from postpartum psychosis make them have auditory hallucinations and sometimes visual hallucinations too. Other common symptoms of this condition might be sleeplessness, sudden mood swings, becoming angry every now and then, restlessness, and strange behaviors. These conditions require immediate medical help and assistance from psychological and mental health care experts.
Treatments Of Post Partum Depression
There are several types of methods that are used for the treatment of Postpartum depression. Some of the commonly recommended treatment methods of Postpartum depression suggested by psychologists and health care experts are as follows:
1. Hormone therapy
During pregnancy and just after childbirth, a woman experiences sudden changes in her hormones, particularly the sex hormones- estrogen and progesterone. This sudden upsurge in the hormonal levels might often lead to Postpartum depression. So, in those cases, doctors prefer using hormonal therapy to treat postpartum depression. In this method, external hormones are provided either in the form of injections or through oral supplements. But there are certain side effects of this method. Some of those side effects are:
- Sudden changes in body weight
- Risks of developing edema
- Increase in levels of blood pressure
- Chances of nausea that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting
- Rapid hair loss
- abdominal cramps
- migraine and headaches
- vaginal discharge along with risks of infections in the vagina
- enlargement of uterine fibroids
According to recent studies and experimental research, it has been revealed by scientists and psychological experts that (Trusted Source) in order to treat postpartum depression and the symptoms related to it among new and young mothers, it is very important to focus on the cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) and development skills. There are therapy sessions that patients suffering from Postpartum depression attend where these cognitive behavioral skills are developed and the main of the therapy is to build their confidence and thus reduce their amount of guilt and teach them anger control.
3. Natural remedies
Recent research and clinical studies are showing that many new mothers have successfully treated post-partum depression and are now feeling much better after undergoing natural remedial treatments. Apart from medication and therapy, they have regularly performed yoga, workouts, and breathing exercises, so that they can effectively manage anger, and restlessness, and can treat insomnia.
Risk Factors Related To Post Partum Depression
If neglected, postpartum depression may take a difficult turn and will take a much longer period to recover. Some of the risk factors related to postpartum depression are as follows:
- If the new mother had any previous history of depression
- Any mental turmoil during and after pregnancy
- Pregnancy at a very young age
- Sudden hormonal changes and related hormonal disorders
- Cases of anxiety, panic attacks, or similar disorders
- If the new mother was pregnant with twins or triplets
- Self-image, self-doubts, and feelings of restlessness and helplessness
- Extreme stress during and after pregnancy
- Conflicts in marriage and stresses of divorces.
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