Postpartum depression is much more than just passing sadness. It is a common disease – it affects between 20 to 35% of women – but serious, which can and should be treated.
Not only because it can “steal” the mother of the opportunity to enjoy what is for many women one of the happiest moments in their lives, but also because it disturbs the well-being of the mother and possibly her baby.
Postpartum is a phase of several biological, psychological and social changes that make women vulnerable to the worsening or the beginning of a pathology such as depression. In addition to hormones – whose alterations do, in fact, play a role in mood swings – the transition to motherhood is an increase in responsibility and, consequently, in anxiety as this becomes responsible for a helpless person. In addition, it is a moment that requires the restructuring of your sexuality, body image and female identity. The pressure from society for the person to feel happy at this “marking” moment in life can also negatively contribute to the mother’s guilt and frustration.
The first signs of postpartum depression often start during pregnancy or within the first three months after giving birth. However, they may appear within the next 18 months. This type of depression affects between 10 to 15% of women, and its symptoms resemble major depression in terms of sadness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, changes in sleep and appetite, loss of interest in daily activities. -day. However, there are some specific characteristics of postpartum depression:
– Exaggerated concerns about the baby’s well-being and their own parental competence;
– Fear of being alone with the baby, of going out with him or of hurting him;
– Obsessive thoughts (e.g., thoughts about harming the baby),
– Greater difficulties in concentration and decision making;
– Difficulty in connecting with the baby;
– Decrease in sexual desire for the partner.
It is important to encourage the person to share what they truly feel, their challenges and difficulties. It is customary for women to only make physical complaints and not so much regarding their emotional issues, given the guilt and frustration felt in face of what they are feeling at a time that should, in society’s eyes, be the happiest of their lives.
There may be some associated risk factors, such as complications in pregnancy or childbirth, lack of social support, poor marital relationship, among others. This is the case of a mother whose husband, not being present, contributed to her feeling alone, in addition to the sleep deprivation associated with the baby’s colic.
The father is also susceptible to mood changes resulting not only from sleep deprivation and the stress inherent in this new stage of life, but also tends to suffer in silence as he watches his partner suffer. This silence often has the function of protecting the woman, in order to support her in the experience of this depressive clinical condition. Postpartum depression in men tends to affect between 3 to 10% of the male population.
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Postpartum depression can have a negative impact on the health of the mother as well as the health and development of the baby. Fortunately, postpartum depression is treatable. There is safe medication even during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But only the doctor can say which ones and how to take them, so women should always have psychological support in partnership with psychopharmacology.
It is essential for a woman to understand that she will not be a bad mother if she develops postpartum depression. It’s possible to overcome postpartum depression. Seeking help from a Psychiatrist or Psychologist can prevent further complications and suffering.
At the level of treatment or interventionin postpartum depression, the essential objectives are highlighted:
Both the woman and those around her should be aware of these symptoms and remember the negative impact this disease can have on the mother and baby. Treatment may be essential. Seek help from our treatment center. Treatment may be essential.
Having postpartum depression is like giving birth and being in the dark. If you’ve recently been a mother and “drag on” endless sadness and anxiety, get help. Speak with us, as we have already helped dozens of other mothers. You are not alone.