Do you feel depressed or tired after giving birth and thinking that you are going to do your best as a mother from now on? The depression and anxiety that occur after childbirth may be a condition known as postpartum depression.
In this article, we will discuss postpartum depression and its symptoms.
What is postpartum depression?
You may have heard of the term “maternity blues“.
Maternity blue is another type of mild postpartum depression, a phenomenon that appears in many mothers within three days after childbirth when they are filled with sadness and other symptoms of depressed mood. In most cases, it is transient, and with the understanding and support of family and friends, it will subside within two weeks.
However, when major mood swings continue for several weeks to several months or longer and interfere with daily life, postpartum depression is suspected.
Postpartum depression is said to occur in about 10-15% of mothers. If left untreated, it can become more severe and progress to postpartum psychosis, so early treatment is necessary. If you know of anyone who is suffering from postpartum depression, please be careful.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Tears even when there is nothing to cry about.
Ups and downs in mood
Easy to get angry
Other symptoms such as sleep disorders (insomnia and hypersomnia), eating disorders (loss of appetite and overeating), and suicidal thoughts may also increase.
As symptoms progress, postpartum psychosis may develop, which can cause not only depression but also hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, and abnormal behavior, which can impair not only parenting but also marital bonding.
Untreated, postpartum depression can last from months to years, so early treatment is necessary.
Causes of postpartum depression
Depression before or during pregnancy
Depression in close relatives
Sudden changes in hormone levels after delivery
Domestic problems, such as marital problems
Lack of family support
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 the patient has had it in the past. Therefore, you should inform your doctor or midwife if you have a history of depression in the past.
Major stress and loneliness are risk factors, such as an unplanned pregnancy or major uncertainties, such as a partner being unemployed or other financial problems.
Treatment of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression that is mild enough to cause postpartum sadness will not require treatment with the support of family and friends. However, if postpartum depression is diagnosed, treatment at a medical institution will be necessary.
Medication such as antidepressants
Treatment methods similar to those for depression are used.
Psychotherapy includes interpersonal therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy involves adjustment to stress, changing one’s perspective on hopelessness and negative thinking, and breaking out of the loop of negative thinking. Talking to a counselor or therapist about your problems can help you find the causes of stress and ways to cope with it.
Medication therapy often involves the use of antidepressants. Some people are resistant to medications while breastfeeding. However, effective medication can help them get out of postpartum depression quickly. Also, some medications allow you to continue breastfeeding, so it is a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.
If you feel something is different on you or your body, ask your family to help and tell your doctor what you think and how you feel. If you take everything by yourself, depression will not be treated and it may get worse.