There are more than 10 million reported cases of postpartum depression in India each year. And given how common it has become, experts now can easily identify the symptoms, give adequate treatment and help a new mom over come it. These baby blueor post natal depression can hit a mom soon after the birth of her child, a few days or weeks later. More often than not it kicks off because of hormonal changes in the body following childbirth.
However, the depression and anxiety that comes along with postpartum depression can be worrisome for the new mom and her family around her. Approximately 70 to 80% of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child. Another study of 10,000 moms with newborns found that about 1 in 7 get postpartum depression symptoms.
Why women suffer from postpartum depression after childbirth:
Postpartum Depression is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. It is linked to hormonal changes, social, and psychological changes associated with having a baby. History of family depression and other issues can cause stress and culminate into serious problem for a mother causing postpartum depression.
It can start any time during the baby’s first year, but it’s most common for a mother to start to feel its effects during the first 3 weeks after birth. It is during this time, a woman feels sad, hopeless, and guilty because she may not feel like bonding or care for her baby.
Some of postpartum depression symptoms include
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appetite changes
- Excessive fatigue
- Frequent mood changes.
However, these are also accompanied by other symptoms of major depression, which are not normal after childbirth, and may include
- Depressed mood
- Loss of pleasure
- Feelings of worthlessness hopelessness and helplessness
- Thoughts of hurting someone else
Effective ways to cheer yourself up and come out of postpartum depression:
There is a defined screening and then a treatment process to identify the symptoms. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better.
Here are a few effective ways to cheer yourself up :
- Surround yourself with people who care and ask for help in case of a need. As a mother be realistic about your expectations from yourself.
- Living healthy is the key as it provides both mental and physical stability during tough times. So it is advisable that, within the limits of any restrictions your doctor may place on your level of activity; you should exercise by taking a walk and getting out of the house for some break.
- It is also important to follow a sensible diet.
- Bringing up the child is a shared responsibility of both the parents. So do not forget to foster the relationship with your partner. In fact, make time for each other.
- Keep in touch with family and friends and do not isolate yourself.
The journey of motherhood can be very demanding, exhausting and overwhelming. However, as a new mother it is important to know that postpartum depression is not your fault rather is a medical condition that can be treated. By sharing your feelings with a professional, you will be able to make positive changes that will have a big impact on your physical and mental well-being.