Becoming a mom is one of the most wonderful sensations in the world. Finally, having in your arms that child who was in your womb for several months brings many feelings: love, joy, joy, and much more. However, it’s not always like that. There are cases where postpartum depression can appear, and turn the first months of motherhood into a hell.
Due to how common this disorder can be, in this post we’ll talk about postpartum depression, its causes, and how you can treat it. Shall we begin?
What is postpartum depression?
Also known as postnatal depression, it’s a psychological disorder that usually appears one month after giving birth, although it can show up any time during the first year.
This depression can often be mistaken with baby blues, which usually happens during the first two weeks after giving birth. However, if that feeling of sadness after giving birth lasts longer than that time, then we’re talking about postnatal depression.
So, why does postpartum depression happen? While the exact causes are unknown, hormonal changes during and after pregnancy can affect a woman’s mood.
Besides, there are other factors that usually affect this type of depression, such as body changes, feeling less attractive, lack of sleep, concern about the capability of being a good mother, having less time and less freedom, etc.
Postpartum depression: signs and symptoms.
While every woman is different, there are very common signs and symptoms among women with postnatal depression. Some of them are the following:
- Depressed or anxious mood.
- Appetite loss or overeating.
- Weight changes.
- Fatigue and sleep disorders.
- Lack of interest in things or activities that you previously enjoyed.
- Frequent physical aches and pains.
- Decreased concentration and inability to think clearly.
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness or overwhelming.
- Frequent crying or for no apparent reason.
- Irritability, bad mood, anger or fury.
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
How to treat postnatal depression?
Due to the usual confusion with baby blues, many people think that postnatal depression is temporary, and that it slowly goes away as the first months of motherhood pass. However, it’s still a depressive disorder, and if it’s left untreated it can turn into postpartum psychosis.
There are ways to help a mother with postpartum depression. Some of them are:
- Therapy. Getting advice from a qualified therapist can help get you back on track and overcome depression. These cases are usually treated with different kinds of therapy: individual, group, for couples, cognitive behavioral, among others.
- Medication. Taking antidepressants or other appropriate medications can be of great help, even more in cases of moderate or severe depression. This should be done under medical supervision, especially during lactation.
- Light therapy. According to studies, there are mothers with postpartum depression whose symptoms have improved after being exposed to special types of artificial light for 30 minutes a day.
- More emotional support. Your partner, your family and your friends play an important part to overcome this situation. As with any depression, the emotional support you can receive from them is truly helpful.
Help with postpartum depression in Canada
If you’re a mom, you gave birth recently and are suffering from postnatal depression and have not been afraid to seek help. If you are in Canada, on the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Postpartum Support International websites you’ll find information about specialists and helplines that will provide you the help that you need.
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