About 80% of the women suffer from baby blues during some week after their delivery. From the studies, women feel a little down after birth. They may also feel vague, sadness, uncertainty, disappointment, and emotional disconnect for a couple of weeks. It is normal and does not have to worry about these conditions. Moreover, many women are surprised at the feeling: after all, they’ve looked forward to motherhood. They were actually thrilled to thinking about being a mother. No one knows the reason for sure why women get blue postpartum.
Few explanations are plausible. First, the shift in hormone levels that comes after the delivery, can affect mood. In addition to this, a mother must have to change their whole focus. After 40 weeks, they feel almost a sense of loss due to suddenly find that the big event is over. Secondly, the most important observation is the feeling of responsibility that they have to take care of their child. You may begin to wonder how a new mother can avoid feeling a little blue in the presence of physical discomforts like episiotomy repair, breast tenderness, hemorrhoids, and fatigue.
Strategies to Overcome Baby Blues
If you find yourself suffering from the baby blues, remember that you’re not the first woman to feel this way. The feeling is as normal as pregnancy itself. And take heart: Those who have already grappled with the problem have found a number of ways to ease the blues. Consider this list of some of the best strategies:
- Lack of sleep compounds the problem of the baby blues. Everything is worse when you’re physically fatigued. The amount of stress that you can handle when you’ve had your rest is much greater than if you haven’t slept enough. So try to get more sleep. If the baby is napping, try to lie down and snooze.
- Accept other people’s offers of help. In most cases, you don’t have to take care of your baby entirely by yourself. You’re a great mom, even if you do let Aunt Uzma or Grandma Zubaida change a diaper or burp the baby.
- Talk about how you feel with other mothers, close family members, and friends. You’re likely to find that they felt exactly as you do now. They can empathize with you and offer suggestions for how to cope.
- If possible, try to get some time to yourself. Often, new parents are overwhelmed by the realization that their time is no longer their own. Get out of the house, if you can. Take a walk, read, watch a movie, or get some exercise. Have dinner with your partner or with a friend.
- Pamper yourself with a manicure or pedicure, a trip to the hair salon, or a massage. Often the blues are exacerbated by the fact that your body still isn’t back to what it used to be, and doing something that makes you feel beautiful may help.
If you don’t begin to feel better in three or four weeks, let your practitioner know. Some women go beyond the blues into full-blown postpartum depression.
What is Postpartum Depression?
True postpartum depression isn’t nearly as common as the blues, but it does affect more women than you may imagine. Between 10 and 15 percent of women develop depression within six months after they deliver. Postpartum depression shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a serious disorder, but it can be overcome through treatment.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Although postpartum blues are usually mild and transient, full-blown depression can be severe and lasting. Despite the severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression often goes unrecognized, or the mother may attribute the problem to something else. Some symptoms are listed below:
- Severe unhappiness
- Inability to enjoy being with the baby (or life in general)
- Lack of interest in caring for the baby
- Weak appetite
- Inability to function from day-to-day
- Extreme anxiety or panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself
- Don’t able to make a decision
- Difficult to remember things
- Feeling out of control
- Feel worthless and guilt about your own feelings
- Feeling sleeping
- Intrusive thoughts about harming yourself and baby
Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression
As we already discussed, Postpartum depression should not be taken lightly. No one knows exactly why postpartum depression occurs, but certain characteristics put a woman at higher than normal risk. These risk factors include:
- History of postpartum depression
- History of depression in general
- Experience of anxiety before the birth
- Life stress
- Lack of a good support system
- Marital dissatisfaction
- An unplanned pregnancy
- Unhappiness about the labor and delivery process
If you have postpartum blues and they don’t go away after three or four weeks, if the feeling seems to be getting worse, or if you develop the blues more than two months after your delivery, discuss the situation with your doctor. Your blues may have blossomed into full-fledged postpartum depression.
Treatment of Postpartum Depression
If you found yourself in postpartum depression, you should consult the doctor immediately for treatment. Although, there are many types of treatment but most important include therapy and medication. It’s your choice to choose both of them or any one of them. But you should also choose a healthy routine in your daily life including a healthy diet, meditation, and exercises. We will discuss some details about treatment types in this ongoing section.
Recent studies have suggested that in some cases, taking small doses of estrogen under the tongue can help. Of course, only follow this treatment under your doctor’s supervision. Your doctor may want to check to see whether you have postpartum thyroid disease, which can mask itself as depression or make your depression worse.
Some doctors recommend anti depressions, that effect directly on the brain. It helps to regulate mood by altering the chemicals in your body. It also takes some time to make a positive difference in your mood. Although some people have side-effects of antidepressant drugs. Side effects include fatigue, dizziness, or decreased sex drive. Mostly, it’s safe to feed breastfeeding while taking anti-depression but it is recommended to consult the doctor.
2. Hormone Therapy
When you find yourself in depression, you should visit a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other health mental professionals for counseling. Therapy can help you make sense of destructive thoughts and offer strategies to overcome depression. It will help you to think positively in this situation. Recent studies have suggested that in some cases, taking small doses of estrogen under the tongue can help. Of course, only follow this treatment under your doctor’s supervision. Your doctor may want to check to see whether you have postpartum thyroid disease, which can mask itself as depression or make your depression worse. Discuss all these with your doctor.
3. Self Care
It is a very important treatment because it is a very difficult task to do. Practicing self-care means cutting yourself some slack. Here some strategies you should try for self-care.
- Spend time with yourself and think positively.
- Don’t burden yourself with tasks you cannot perform easily.
- Don’t isolate yourself.
- Spend time with friends and family members.
- Take help from your partner.
- Share your feelings with your partner and friends.
- Try to do exercise in the open air even if it’s only a walk around the neighborhood.
- Eat a well-balanced healthy diet.
What is Postpartum Psychosis?
Postpartum psychosis is a rare occurrence but the most severe depression. In this situation, you are no longer grounded in reality. It is usually happening within the first few weeks after delievry. If you have mood disorders in history, then mostly you would experience postpartum psychosis. Earlier symptoms are restlessness, irritability, and insomnia.
Hallucinations and delusion are common symptoms of postpartum psychosis. It means you would feel hearing, seeing, smelling, and feeling things in reality but they aren’t. For example, you could hear a voice telling you to harm your baby, etc. You may believe people are plotting against you. Delusion can also revolve around your baby.
Other symptoms include:
- nonsensical chatter, confusion, and disorientation
- feelings of rage for no apparent reason
- erratic or violent behavior, such as throwing things, breaking things, and lashing out at people around you
- rapidly shifting moods
- preoccupation with death that might include suicidal thoughts or suicide attempt
- intrusive thoughts about your baby, such as blaming your baby for the way you feel or wishing they would go away
It’s a severe life-threatening emergency. In this situation, there is a risk of hurting yourself and your baby. You should seek immediate medical attention if the above symptoms exhibits. Mostly you would be hospitalized or antipsychotic medication in this situation.
Treatment of Postpartum Psychosis
There are many treatments to tackle postpartum psychosis. In this section, some major treatments are listed below. Doctors may use one of these treatments or a combination of these treatments.
- Mood Stabilizers
Usually, these treatments are effective in this situation. It helps you to stabilize your mood. Another effective way to tackle this situation by using Electroconvulsive Therapy(ECT) as an option. In this method, electric currents use to trigger chemical changes in your brain. It is usually well tolerated. Even after your stabilizing your condition, doctors may also recommend a therapist, that helps you work through your feelings.
What is Postpartum Anxiety?
Postpartum anxiety is common among women after childbirth. Its commonly affects more than 1 in 6 women after childbirth. The most common symptoms include hyperventilation and panic attacks. Hyperventilation occurs when you breathe so quickly and deeply that you run low on carbon dioxide. This can leave you feeling as though you can’t catch your breath.
Panic attacks can have symptoms nearly like a heart attack. The symptoms include:
- Pounding heartbeat
- Pain in chest
- More sweating than a healthy person
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms of postpartum anxiety include:
- excessive worry, even about inconsequential matters
- being unable to sleep because of worry
- running the same problems over in your mind, even though they’ve been solved or aren’t important
- poor concentration due to worry
- overprotecting your baby due to constant worry about what could go wrong
- worrying about or imagining you have various illnesses
You can have anxiety and depression together, making it difficult to figure out what’s going on without a doctor’s help. Anxiety can be treated with antianxiety medications and therapy.
Postpartum Depression in Men
It is not very uncommon among men. Its a fact that being parent is hard. And being parent of an infant is very hard. You may face conflicts with your partner. In this result, you may also face sleepless nights, that can make thing harder. But postpartum depression in men is clinical. PPD (Parental Posnatal Depression) is very common in men. According to the study, among 1 in 4 men have PPD. Read this section carefully to assess yourself, whether you are in depression or not.
Reasons of Postpartum Depression in Men
There are many reasons of PPND. Unfortunately, we are in the very beginning to understand Postpartum depression in Men. According to the researcher studies, reason that can put you in the postpartum depression are listed below:
- A lack of good sleep
- Changes in hormones
- Personal history of depression
- Poor relationship with spouse
- Poor relationship with one or both parents
- Relationship stress – with a partner or with in-laws
- Excessive stress about becoming a parent or father
- Nonstandard family (such as being unmarried or a stepfather)
- Poor social functioning
- A lack of support from others
- Economic problems or limited resources
- A sense of being excluded from the connection between the mother and baby
Like women, men also should take care of his diet. They must take healthy diet with daily exercise to overcome postpartum depression. Antidepressant can also be used during these situations. Couple counseling or fairly counseling is a best option to overcome depression. With antidepressants, therapy should also include in your treatment for better results.