Postpartum depression affects 15-20% of new mothers. It is a common post-pregnancy phenomenon and it is okay if a new mother experiences it. Casually referred to as “baby blues,” it is completely curable and having postpartum depression does not make a new mother bad or negligent.
- So, what is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a severe form of clinical depression that affects new mothers after delivery of the baby. It can affect mothers for the first year of the baby’s life and usually hits them 3 weeks into the baby’s delivery. It doesn’t just affect first-time mothers and can happen to new mothers who have already experienced childbirth.
- But, what causes postpartum depression?
One of the biggest reasons is your hormones. Pregnancy leads to a rise in your hormonal levels which suddenly drop after delivery and this can result in depression in some women. It is a lot like experiencing mood swings right before your period but on a severe scale.
A personal history of depression or a family history of depression also exposes you to the risk of experiencing postpartum depression.
Stress is another leading factor of postpartum depression. In cases of unwanted pregnancies, or where the mother does not have a strong support system post delivery to help her take care of the baby, subjecting her to extra stress, can lead to postpartum depression. Stress due to drug/alcohol-related problems, financial strain or other sudden huge emotional traumas also adds to causes of postpartum depression.
- What are the common symptoms of postpartum depression?
- Feelings of despair & hopelessness
- Loss of appetite, libido, and will to do basic chores
- Feeling a lack of connection to your baby or being uninterested in bonding with, and taking care of your baby
- Long unexplainable episodes of crying
- Loss of sleep even when the baby’s asleep, or too much sleep
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mother
If you or someone you know can relate with the symptoms above, you can contact any of our in-house experts doctor immediately. Treatment plans may include prescribed medication or counseling therapy or a combination of both.