Postpartum depression has been the focus of much attention since it has been featured in manga and TV dramas these days.
We would like to share with you some knowledge about postpartum depression that is useful not only for you who are struggling with childcare right now but also for those who may become mothers in the future.
Anxiety arises because of inexperience with childbirth
Your baby is crying in front of you and your head and body don’t work well, you feel left behind in the world and depressed, and you want to die from anxiety.
We think there are actually not a few mothers who have felt like this. These feelings and states of depression after childbirth are collectively called “postpartum depression.”
So-called “depression” is believed to be caused by a deficiency of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. However, it is not necessarily true that everyone who feels depressed after childbirth is depressed. Some people may suffer from “adjustment disorder,” in which they become anxious or depressed due to the stress of childbirth and childcare situations.
It is also thought to be related to changes in the balance of female hormones before and after childbirth, but this has not yet been fully elucidated. Pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare are unknown to many women. It is natural for you to feel anxious about something you have never experienced before.
In today’s world of nuclear families, many women become pregnant and give birth with little or no experience with babies. In such a situation, they have to juggle housework and childcare, and in addition, they have to hold down a job.
Recently, many mothers feel stressed by the atmosphere in which they are forced to immediately silence their babies when they cry on the train. However, it is natural for babies to cry. If you give birth without knowing this, you may feel anxious about your baby’s continuous crying and feel that you, the mother, are being blamed for it.
Postpartum depression can be prevented if you have someone to rely on
There are two ways to deal with postpartum depression.
One is to ask someone to listen to your honest feelings of pain and anxiety. The other is to get specific support, such as help with housework and childcare. In fact, those who have family, relatives, and friends who listen to them and give them specific support have a lower risk of suffering from postpartum depression.
If you do not have anyone nearby you can rely on, by all means, turn to public institutions. You can feel free to tell SOS such as “childcare is hard” or “I feel like I want to die” at regular checkups for the baby or during newborn visits by public health nurses. First of all, have someone listen to you to help you clear your mind.
In addition, the departments that issue maternal and child health handbooks in each municipality offer inexpensive services such as childcare support and housework assistance, so please take advantage of these services.
However, there are many women who cannot say “help,” or who try too hard even when it is hard for them. To be able to say “it’s hard when it’s hard,” look at your feelings from the time you are pregnant and try to speak up honestly.
Also, some women work too hard to raise a child they are not accustomed to and lack nutrition and sleep. It is natural to feel depressed and melancholy if you lack nutrition and sleep, not only after childbirth. For the sake of your baby, get some rest, both physically and mentally.
Why women with higher education and income are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression
Changing the way they think and the way they perceive things is also said to be a way to prevent postpartum depression.
Nowadays, many women are active in society, which in itself is not a bad thing. However, unlike in the workplace, a baby is an opponent to whom theory does not apply. In some cases, women who had previously focused on theoretical thinking are unable to switch to the pace of a baby who lives emotionally.
In fact, data shows that many women in Japan who suffer from postpartum depression are highly educated and have high incomes. Pregnancy and childbirth are very animalistic, and childcare can involve hours of time spent with a child’s interests. Therefore, it is necessary to be flexible and resourceful to accept things in a relaxed manner, which is the power to live in reality.
Many working women often feel sorry for the company for taking time off or feel that they must return to work as soon as possible after pregnancy, but you should put your mind and body first. Also, please do not blame yourself if you suffer from postpartum depression. You are trying your best in your own way.
It is also said that it’s important to know that “postpartum pain doesn’t last forever.”
As your baby grows, he or she will gradually become a little more unmanageable. Many mothers suffer from postpartum depression when their children reach the age of two or three, but it is said that postpartum depression lasts only one year.
If you have strong feelings of depression, anxiety, or wanting to die, or if your feelings of depression and anxiety persist past one year postpartum, we recommend that you see a specialist in psychiatry or psychosomatic medicine. Pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare are major life events for women.
If you are currently pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, it is a good idea to visit a home with a baby and spend a lot of time with the baby while you are there. You will get a feel for the pace of the baby’s life and how much the baby cries. Knowing about pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare in advance will lessen your anxiety.