Postpartum Depression: Symptoms & Treatment | SuperBottoms
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• Introduction
• What Is Postpartum Depression?
• Postpartum Depression Causes
• Risks Associated With Postpartum Depression
• Do Fathers Also Experience Postpartum Depression?
• Postpartum Depression Treatment
• When To Seek Doctor's Help
• Key Takeaways
• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Motherhood brings an unmatched joy and, at times, cannot be described in words. The happiness of holding your newborn baby in your arms for the first time, the excitement of raising a human! But sometimes, along with this, joy, fear, anxiety, or postpartum depression can also take over. According to experts, 70% of new mothers go through baby blues, but one in seven women experience postpartum depression symptoms.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

After delivering a baby, new mothers often feel an overwhelming sense of restlessness, anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, loneliness, worthlessness, and sadness after having a baby. One minute, they feel happy, and the next minute, they are overwhelmed and start to cry. Feeling like this for a week to 10 days is not alarming. There is no specific definition of postpartum depression, but sometimes, these symptoms do not go away on their own and take the form of a mental illness that requires medical help; it is Postpartum Depression (PPD).

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

The typical postpartum depression symptoms include experiencing some or all of the following signs of postpartum depression:

Loss of appetite
◾ Feeling detached or no attachment to the baby
◾ Feeling restless
◾ Feeling anxious, irritable, or stressed all the time
◾ Low energy and low motivation
◾ Unexpected weight gain or loss
◾ Frequent crying
◾ Sleeping less or sleeping a lot
◾ Constant feelings of guilt or worthlessness

In some sporadic cases, women with severe signs of postpartum depression might also experience symptoms such as thoughts of hurting themselves or the baby or hearing voices and seeing people not present out of paranoia.

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Postpartum Depression Causes:

There are no specific or defined postpartum depression causes. However, it can be caused by a combination of hormonal changes that the body goes through after childbirth, lack of sleep, and increased stress after delivery. People with a previous history of depression are also more prone to experience postpartum depression symptoms. People in stressful or difficult marriages or family situations and new moms who have significantly fewer people to talk to can also be reasons for postpartum depression.

Risks Associated With Postpartum Depression:

If diagnosed and proper depression treatment is done on time, there are no significant risks associated with postpartum depression. But in cases where PPD is severe, there are certain risks of the mother not taking care of her child, harming oneself or others, having massive weight loss or gain due to eating disorders associated with depression, etc.

Do Fathers Also Experience Postpartum Depression?

An estimated 4% of new fathers also experience signs of postpartum depression. The symptoms of PPD are similar to those experienced by mothers and may include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and changes in sleep and appetite. Fathers may also feel disconnected from their partner or baby and experience difficulty bonding with their child. Like mothers, fathers with a history of depression or anxiety, a lack of social support, or who have experienced stressful life events are at higher risk of developing PPD.

It's essential for healthcare professionals to recognize that fathers can also experience PPD and to screen them for symptoms during postpartum checkups. Fathers experiencing PPD can benefit from the same treatments as mothers, including therapy, medication, and support groups.

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Postpartum Depression Treatment:

Treatment for postpartum depression typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and support. Here are some common approaches for preventing postpartum depression:

  1. Therapy: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) are effective in treating postpartum depression. These therapies help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, develop coping skills, and improve communication and interpersonal relationships.
  2. Medication: Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression. It's essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable medication and dosage, considering factors such as breastfeeding.
  3. Support groups: Joining a support group for mothers experiencing postpartum depression can provide valuable emotional support, validation, and coping strategies. Connecting with others going through similar experiences can help reduce feelings of isolation and stigma. Many new parent support groups, such as Parent Tribe, are also a great way to seek additional support over and above medical help. In addition, talking to other parents at the same life and parenting stage can be reassuring and helpful.
  4. Lifestyle changes: Engaging in self-care activities, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating, and practicing relaxation techniques like mindfulness or deep breathing, can support overall well-being and alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression.
  5. Partner and family support: Involving partners, family members, and friends in the treatment process can provide additional support and assistance with childcare and household responsibilities, allowing the mother to focus on her recovery.

It's essential for individuals experiencing postpartum depression to seek help from a healthcare provider as soon as possible. With proper treatment and support, preventing postpartum depression is manageable, and individuals can recover and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.

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When To Seek Doctor's Help:

If you're experiencing postpartum depression, it's crucial to seek help promptly. Attend scheduled appointments with your psychologist or doctor, and don't hesitate to check in early if you're feeling overwhelmed. Seek immediate medical attention if reasons for postpartum depression worsen, hinder daily tasks or caregiving, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a severe mental health condition that affects many new mothers after childbirth. PPD can have significant adverse effects on a mother's well-being and her relationship with her baby, as well as on her family and social functioning.
  2. Various risk factors increase a mother's likelihood of developing PPD, including a history of depression, stressful life events, and lack of social support. It's essential for healthcare professionals to be aware of these risk factors and to screen new mothers for PPD symptoms during their postpartum checkups.
  3. Fortunately, there are effective postpartum depression treatments, including therapy, medication, and support groups. With proper treatment and support, most mothers with PPD can recover and go on to lead happy and healthy lives with their families. As a society, we must continue to raise awareness about PPD and provide resources and support for new mothers who are struggling with this condition. By doing so, we can help ensure that all mothers and babies have the best possible start in life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1. What is postpartum depression

Ans. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder after childbirth, causing sadness and anxiety. Symptoms include mood swings and difficulty bonding with the baby. Seeking help is essential.

Q2. What can I do as a family member of a new mother suffering from PPD?

Ans. Offer help and lend a listening ear. Sometimes, new mothers are overwhelmed. So, please take a few tasks off their shoulders. Help them with functions like burping the baby and changing the newborn's cloth diapers, massaging, or bathing the baby. This can give the new mother much-needed rest. Also, if she feels emotional or overwhelmed, talk to her and offer her a non-judgmental listening ear.

Q3. How to overcome postpartum depression?

Ans. To overcome postpartum depression, seek therapy and medication if necessary. Prioritise self-care, build a support network, and communicate openly with your partner. Remember, recovery is possible with support and treatment.

Message From SuperBottoms

Hi there, new parents! No matter where you are around the world or in India, SuperBottoms ensures your kids are using the best and safest products. SuperBottoms offers the best cloth diapers, which are completely safe and gentle for your baby, DryFeel langots for diaper-free time, padded underwear for potty training your kids, and period underwear for women. These products suit your baby's delicate skin at any time of year. SuperBottoms is a must-have product for you and your child whether you live in Canada, Kuwait, the United States, Qatar, Hawaii, Bahrain, Armenia, the United Arab Emirates, or the Philippines. SuperBottoms products are also available on Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, FirstCry, Zepto, Swiggy and Blinkit.

Reference Links

1. Postpartum depression - Symptoms and causes
2. Postpartum Depression: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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