Postnatal depression(PND) also known as postpartum(PPD) is a type of depression that affects some women after giving birth to an infant. Additionally, it can also affect men/husbands. Also, it will affect 1 woman of the 10 of them.
What causes postnatal depression?
The cause of postnatal depression is not completely clear.
Some of the factors it has been associated with include:
- a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life
- a history of mental health problems during pregnancy
- having no close family or friends to support you
- a poor relationship with your partner
- recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement
- experiencing the “baby blues”
Postnatal Depression in Dads
Fathers might also experience postnatal depression as it requires them to adjust to the new conditions. Some of the symptoms in women are the same in men.
Postnatal Signs and Symptoms
The severity of PND depends on the number of symptoms, their intensity and the extent to which they affect your day-to-day life. According to research, it is very important to recognize the symptoms as delayed recognition will lead to depression.
If PDN is not treated, it will lead to other secondary accidents.
These include the women experiencing thoughts about leaving their family or they will be worried that their partner may leave them. Additionally, one might think about ideas of self- harming or doing harm to their partner or baby.
These situations will require professional help straight away.
Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Low mood for 2 weeks or more
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Loss of interest in yourself and your baby
- Difficulty sleeping and feeling constantly tired
- Despair or feeling trapped in your life
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
- Withdrawing from family, friends and social occasions
- Feeling guilty or inadequate
- Physical signs of tension, including headaches, stomach aches or blurred vision
- Feeling irritable
- Recurrent thoughts of self- harm, death or suicide
Home Recommendations for Postnatal Depression- What helps if am suffering from postnatal depression?
The depression might be solved by several home remedies. They will include;
Develop a support plan while you are pregnant– identify what steps you will take in a crisis and who you can call on for support
Set aside quality time yourself– to relax and take a break from your baby. Do what makes you feel good and replenishes your self- belief.
make your relationships a priority– it increases your “feel good” brain chemicals.
Get proper sleep– although this is difficult with a newborn, a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your mood and energy levels.
Make meals a priority– what you eat affects your mood. Keep blood sugars stable and ensure you are getting enough nutrients and vitamins.
Ease back into exercise– it is effective in treating depression
Join a group for mothers– it is reassuring to hear other mothers share your challenges and can be a good social outlet. Share what your feeling with at least one other person
Lean on your partner, family, and friends– their support will play a big part in your recovery.
Postnatal Depression Treatment
Most likely, depression is treated with home remedies. However, it is good to consult a doctor who will refer to the following ways of treating the sickness:
- group treatment
- support strategies
- antidepressants – these may be recommended if your depression is more severe or other treatments have not helped; your doctor can prescribe a medicine that’s safe to take while breastfeeding
- Also, doctors will recommend family and friends support.
Countries all over are trying to solve the solution. This is by creating local and national organizations such as the Association for Post Natal Illness(APNI) and Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support(PANDAS).
Organizations can be useful sources of help and advice.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
It is a questionnaire that asks about your feelings and symptoms. EPDS will indicate whether you might have symptoms that are common with depression and anxiety.
Postnatal Depression and Postnatal Psychosis
Postnatal psychosis is also referred to as postpartum or puerperal psychosis. The two are different but the only similarity is that they will affect both after birth.
Postpartum psychosis will develop after the first or 12 weeks of childbirth. It involves the following signs and symptoms:
- Thinking clearly
- Extreme mood swings
- Hallucinations(seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
- Paranoia(feeling everyone is against you even if they are not)
- Powerful delusions
Postnatal Depression Myths
Many myths are surrounding PND but it has confirmations:
- People often say that PND is less severe compared to other depressions– It is more serious than other types of depression
- Also, it is considered to be caused by hormonal changes– PND is caused by many different factors.
- It will soon pass– if PND is not treated it might lead to a long-term problem. However, ‘baby blues’ will pass.
- PND does not affect men– research shows that 1 of 10 new fathers will become depressed after having a baby.
Postnatal Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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