Understanding Postpartum Depression?

Having a baby is nearly every woman’s dream. For a few hours or days after the birth, the mother is still awed and excited at the bundle of joy that had been developing inside her. But constant irritation and nagging by the baby’s cry for attention can sometimes drive the mother to postnatal depression. This state, which is brought about by hormonal changes in the woman’s body, can last a few days then disappear. When it lasts longer, it is referred to as postpartum depression. 

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

There are no specific causes, however, emotional and lifestyle changes may increase the risk of falling into one.

What Are the Symptoms?

These symptoms, which vary from one mother to another may include:

  • Having little or no interest in the things you enjoyed.
  • Being overly worried or not concerned about the baby’s welfare.
  • Unexplained rage and irritation.
  • Losing focus and not remembering things.
  • Feeling distant and withdrawn from the baby and other family members.
  • Easily becoming emotional and crying a lot.

When the above symptoms appear around 4 days after the birth of the baby and improve within 2 weeks as hormonal changes settle, we refer to it as Baby blues. But if they persist beyond one month, reach out and talk to someone (family member or your doctor). This temporary condition can be treated through medication, support and counselling. If left untreated, Postpartum depression might develop into Postpartum psychosis which is severe and can lead to life-threatening thoughts. A couple of years back, the country was shocked with the news of a young mother who killed her twins. No one could comprehend how a mother could be so savage-this is what Postpartum depression, if left untreated, could do.

Is Postpartum Depression a Women-Only Condition?

On the contrary, this condition can also affect fathers: paternal postpartum depression. The risk is even higher if the father is struggling financially or overwhelmed with responsibilities towards the family. Therefore, if the mother is suffering from postpartum depression, chances of the father suffering from it too are high and both should seek medical attention.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, ensure you consult your doctor.

 

Disclaimers:

Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

 

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: psycom, webmd

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