Postpartum depression is a serious but treatable medical illness involving feelings of extreme sadness, indifference or anxiety, and changes in sleep and appetite also carry risks for the mother and child.
Mostly “baby blues ” are experienced by new moms after childbirth, including mood swings, crying for no reason, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Baby blues starts within the first two to three days after delivery and lasts up to two weeks.
Usually, 70 per cent of all new mothers experience the “baby blues,” a short-lasting condition that does not interfere with daily activities.
Postpartum psychosis is an extreme mood disorder that may also develop after childbirth. Psychosis means you’ve lost touch with reality.
Some women who get postpartum psychosis had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses before.
But most have no previous psychiatric problems. Fortunately, the psychotic state is not permanent, and it is only temporary. With medical advice, it is easy to get treated.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Many women have the following symptoms of postpartum depression, which can be hard to detect are as follows.
- Frequent mood swings
- Anxiety and irritability
- Severe fatigue, anger and crankiness
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Depressed mood
- Feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness
- Trouble concentrating or making a decision
- Crying for no reason
Causes of postpartum depression
The major causes of postpartum depression are mainly physical and emotional issues.
Every mom will be anxious about her ability to Care for her newborn.
When you are sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems.
The drastic drop in estrogen and progesterone after childbirth plays a major role, and other hormones produced by the thyroid gland may drop and make you feel depressed, tired and sluggish.
Sense of worth
You may feel guilty, less attractive and have a loss of control over life.
Tips to get rid of Postpartum depression
Postpartum depression, if handled in the right way, can be treated without worsening the situation. The following are the tips to overcome postpartum depression.
Exercise helps you lose weight gained during pregnancy and do minimal training like walking and stretching, enabling you to feel better. Take a break and go out of the house for some fresh air.
Always find time to sleep when your baby sleeps. Sleep is very important to change mood swings.
Avoid being isolated and stay in touch with your family and friends. Converse with them over the phone or in person to make your mind feel distracted.
Foster a good relationship with your partner by spending quality time. Avoid unwanted arguments, and talk more about the sweet memories shared between each other.
Eating on time and having vitamins, protein-rich foods. Hydrate yourself with ample liquids, which reduces tiredness and fatigue
Let go of all your negative thoughts, which helps bring you out of depression by focusing only on your breathing.
Eat healthy and stay fit during postpartum depression
- Try to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein-rich foods every day. Eat foods with protein such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, meat, fish and beans. Protein-rich foods are important to help you recover from childbirth.
- Drink plenty of liquids like water, tender coconut water, milk and fruit juices, especially if you are breastfeeding your child.
- Limit junk foods. Cookies, pastries, potato chips and French fries are okay sometimes, but don’t let them take the place of healthy foods.
- Prenatal vitamins are a must to be taken if you are breastfeeding.
- Lose weight safely. Losing weight too quickly can affect your breast milk supply.
Treatment of postpartum depression
Doctors suggest treatments, depending on the type and severity of the woman’s symptoms. Treatment includes anti-anxiety, anti-depressant medicines and therapy and supports group participation.
If you are breastfeeding, do not assume that you can’t take medicines for depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about your options.
All women who experience postpartum depression are common after childbirth. With patience and positive healing measures, they can overcome these feelings and feel happy as a young mom with a good diet, exercise, sleep, self-care and expert medical advice if needed.