Do you feel depressed and tired after giving birth to a baby, even though you thought you were going to do your best as a mother? The depression and anxiety you feel after giving birth may be a condition called postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression, if left alone or left untreated, not only puts a heavy burden on you but can also affect the relationship between the couple and the future child-rearing. Postpartum depression is not a problem that only you have. It is a family problem.
In this article, we will explain the symptoms of postpartum depression.
What is postpartum depression?
You may have heard the term “maternity blue” before. Maternity blue is also a kind of mild postpartum depression, a phenomenon that appears in many mothers within three days after childbirth when they feel sad and depressed.
In most cases, it is transient and subsides within two weeks with the understanding and support of family and friends. However, if major mood swings continue for more than a few weeks to a few months and interfere with daily life, postpartum depression is suspected.
Postpartum depression occurs in about 10-15% of mothers. If you leave it untreated, it can become more severe and progress to postpartum psychosis, so early treatment is necessary. If you have any idea what it is, you need to be careful.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
- Deep sadness
- Have tears even when nothing is happening
- Ups and downs in mood
- It is easier to get angry than usual
- Extreme fatigue
Other symptoms such as sleep disorders (insomnia and hypersomnia), eating disorders (loss of appetite and overeating), and suicidal thoughts may also increase.
When the symptoms progress, it can lead to postpartum psychosis, which can cause not only depression but also hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, and abnormal behaviors that can interfere not only with parenting but also with marital bonding.
If it’s untreated, postpartum depression can last from several months to several years, so early treatment is necessary.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
- Depression that existed before or during pregnancy
- Depression in close relatives
- Rapid changes in hormone levels after delivery
- Domestic problems such as marital problems
- Lack of support from family
- Pregnancy-related problems and conflicts
Depression can greatly increase the risk of developing postpartum depression. There is also a risk of developing postpartum depression if you have had it in the past. Therefore, if you have a history of depression in the past, you need to tell your doctor or midwife.
Great stress and loneliness are risk factors, such as an unplanned pregnancy or a partner who is unemployed or has other major concerns such as financial problems.
Postpartum depression is a mental illness that requires treatment. It is a good idea to talk with your family, friends, and medical institutions around you as soon as possible without worrying about it alone.
In addition, the understanding and cooperation of the people around you are also necessary. Your family and other family members should understand that mothers are prone to mental instability after childbirth, and they should be willing to help with personal care and child-rearing.