Effective Ways to Treat Postpartum Depression
Summary of Postpartum Depression: Meaning, Symptoms, and Treatment
You have just given birth to a beautiful newborn and everyone is basking in bliss! This was supposed to be a joyful moment—you remind yourself—but why do you feel exhausted and low?
Some degree of anxiety and moodiness are to be expected in new mothers. Postpartum blues usually starts after a few days from giving birth and often goes on for no longer than two weeks. But if you, or a love one, continue to be irritable for more than a couple of weeks, please read on.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression and baby blues are often confused altogether. Both have similar signs, but the former has more intense symptoms that last longer.
As the time passes by, postpartum depression will start interfering with your capacity to look after your baby and to perform your daily chores. Mothers will start feeling more overwhelmed, more emotionally fragile, and start getting suicidal thoughts. Depression after birth is something that needs immediate action and attention. But how do you identify if you are going through a depression?
It will be of great help if new mothers know what postpartum depression will look like. Some women feel like they don’t have an emotional connection with their baby. While others feel so miserable that they are not able to eat or sleep. Other symptoms include:
- Intense anxiety and insomnia
- Unreasonable anger and irritability
- Excessive weepiness and hypersensitivity
- Extreme exhaustion or fatigue
- Diminished ability to concentrate
- Severe feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness
- Loss of appetite that results to abrupt weight loss
- Headaches, muscle pains, and stomachaches
- Loss of interest in things that you usually like doing
- Withdrawing from your partner, family, and friends
Causes of postpartum depression
Experts agree that depression after pregnancy is caused by several aspects: psychological, hormonal, environmental, biochemical, and genetic factors. Here are some indications if you are at risk of developing depression after birth:
- Marital issues
- Pregnancy after depression
- Genetic history of anxiety or depression
- Financial problems or employment issues
- Lack of postpartum support
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Childcare pressure
How to treat postpartum depression?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Skip the household chores and focus on looking after your newborn. Make sure that you get enough sleep and are eating well. Lastly, stop feeling guilty about not being able to bond with your child. Things will get better and soon, you will realize how much you actually love your baby.
Say yes to emotional support. You need your family and friends at this point of your life, so whenever you feel sad and vulnerable, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Support may come in different forms, ranging from friends who fold your laundry, do your grocery shopping, to cooking meals.
Join a support group. Talk with moms who have been through postpartum depression. You will be surprised knowing how many mothers have experienced the same feelings.
Give yourself a break. Ask a friend or a relative to look after your baby for an hour or two each day. If all else fail, hire a trusted babysitter to watch your newborn. Go shopping, catch up with a friend, read a good book, or simply get some naptime.