How To Overcome Postpartum Depression - A Step-By-Step Guide
Give yourself a chance to heal. Read this step-by-step guide on how to get through postpartum depression and develop physical, mental, and spiritual resilience.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mood disorder that can affect new mothers after childbirth. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, hopeless and irritable, it’s important to know that these feelings are temporary and common among many new moms. With a few self-care techniques and the right support system, you can take steps towards healing from postpartum depression.
How to know if you have Postpartum depression
Symptoms of postpartum depression can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed. Other symptoms can include difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, difficulty bonding with the baby, feelings of inadequacy or guilt, and thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby. If you have any concerns about your mental health after giving birth, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine if you have postpartum depression and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:
Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or helplessness
Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
Difficulty bonding with the baby
Feelings of inadequacy or guilt as a parent
Changes in appetite or sleep patterns (such as insomnia or sleeping too much)
Fatigue or lack of energy
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby
Irritability or anger It is important to note that postpartum depression can manifest differently in each woman and some may experience a mix of symptoms. If you have any concerns about your mental health after giving birth, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine if you have postpartum depression and recommend the appropriate treatment.
What is postpartum blue?
Postpartum "blues" or "baby blues" is a common and normal experience for many women after giving birth. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and mood swings that typically appear within the first few days after delivery and can last for a few weeks. Symptoms of postpartum blues can include crying spells, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and feelings of anxiety or fear.
Postpartum depression men, Do men also experience PPD?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is not limited to women, men can also experience it after the birth of a child.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression. Men can experience many of the same symptoms as women, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed.
They may also experience difficulty bonding with the baby, feelings of inadequacy or guilt, changes in sleep patterns, and fatigue. Men may also feel additional pressure and societal expectations that can contribute to PPD such as financial stress, lack of support, and societal pressure to be strong and not show vulnerability. It is important for men to know that postpartum depression is a real and treatable condition, and they should not be afraid to reach out for help.
Give Yourself Permission to Feel Your Emotions, Without Judgment.
This is an essential part of the healing process. It’s easy to feel ashamed and guilty for feeling postpartum depression but it’s important to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to experience your feelings without judgement. Instead of focusing on why you’re feeling certain emotions, accept them and try to understand where they are coming from. Practising mindfulness can help get in touch with these feelings in a non-judgemental way, allowing you to take better care of yourself during this challenging time.
Brief History of Postpartum Depression
The first recorded description of postpartum depression dates back to ancient Greece, when Hippocrates wrote about a “strange disorder” that caused women to become melancholic and weepy after giving birth. However, it was not until the mid-1980s that the medical community began to recognize postpartum depression as a real condition.
Understanding Postpartum Depression After Delivery
Over 14% of women suffer from postpartum depression after delivery. Symptoms of postpartum depression can include feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness; lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed; difficulties sleeping or eating; withdrawal from family and friends; feelings of shame or guilt. It is important to pay attention to these signs and seek help if needed.
How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last?
The duration and severity of postpartum depression can vary widely. In a study published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, researchers found that symptoms of postpartum depression typically last around three to six months. However, for some people, the symptoms can last longer — up to a year or more
Spotting Postpartum Depression After Caesarean Birth
While the condition can affect any new parent, it may be even more likely after a Caesarean birth. It’s important to be aware of the signs and risk factors for developing postpartum depression after having a C-section so that you can get the help you need right away if necessary.
What's the Difference Between Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Blues?
While postpartum blues typically resolve naturally without any intervention, postpartum depression is an extended psychological condition that requires medical attention. Postpartum depression may include severe feelings of disinterest in activities, fatigue, worthlessness and sadness. Postpartum blues may bring about similar feelings but to a lesser degree. Symptoms of postpartum blues can last up to two weeks but are generally felt for only a few days.
Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is treated in many ways, including counselling or therapy, medication, lifestyle changes and support from family and friends. The treatment recommended will depend on the severity of the symptoms and how long the condition has lasted. Therapy can be very helpful in understanding and managing the symptoms of postpartum depression. Medication and other forms of mental health treatment may also be recommended to help manage symptoms. Self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and taking time for yourself are essential components of successful treatment for postpartum depression.
Taking the Postpartum Depression Test
It’s important to take a postpartum depression test in order to get an accurate diagnosis which can help you create a treatment plan that works for your unique experiences. A postpartum depression test includes a series of questions related to emotional and physical changes experienced during pregnancy and after childbirth, such as mood swings, difficulty sleeping, lack of energy or motivation, and thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.
How India Is Tackling Postpartum Depression
In India, an estimated 10-15 per cent of women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD) after delivery. Mental health professionals are raising awareness of this public health issue and initiated programs to encourage medical attendance and deliver counselling and psychological support to new mothers.