What are signs of a depression? In this article, you will learn about women depression especially after child birth, signs, causes and prevention. Do not underestimate the power of depression after postpartum, it can be a great impact to the family including the newborn child.
If there are only positive emotions once the baby comes out, the world would have been a better place. But with joy and excitement come fear and anxiety too, and if not well taken care of, it can lead to something unexpected: a depression after postpartum.
Most new moms experience postpartum “baby blues,” which refers to anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings after giving birth. This is a combination of a sudden change in hormones and stress, where you get the feeling of being tearful, fragile, and overwhelmed. The good news is, this stage often lasts a maximum of two weeks. However, some mothers experience the signs of a depression, which is a lot longer and more severe than the above symptoms.
Postpartum Depression should be taken seriously because it can get worst – especially when suicidal thoughts start to cross your mind and you can no longer able to take care of your baby. Here are some other signs of depression after child birth that you should watch out for.
What are signs of a depression?
- You are withdrawing from your partner, family, and friends. You’re feeling more alone because you think nobody can understand what you’re going through.
- You don’t bond well with your baby. Bonding isn’t always immediate, but Postpartum Depression can make you feel like you don’t love your baby enough. This is also making you feel guilty and worthless.
- Overwhelming fatigue, which is often the result of labor, and delivery, combined with little sleep.
- You are experiencing severe panic attacks. This is when you always feel worried about anything, that it prevents you from sleeping. You are also crying excessively.
- Because you feel hopeless, you think about harming yourself or your baby.
- You also cannot think clearly and make decisions.
- You lost the appetite to eat.
- You are no longer interested in activities you used to enjoy.
Some mothers develop depression after postpartum for many reasons. The Physical Changes involve a dramatic drop in hormones in the mother’s body. Your thyroid gland that produces hormones may also drop, leaving you tired and depressed.
Emotional Issues come from sleep deprivation that you can’t even handle the minor problems. There will be a struggle of identity and that feeling that you’re no longer attractive because of how you look.
Your risk of Postpartum Depress can increase if:
- It was an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.
- You are facing financial problems.
- Your support system is weak.
- Your baby is having health problems.
- You or a family member have a history of depression.
- You experienced Postpartum depression from your previous pregnancy.
- You have multiple births.
- You have gone through a stressful and challenging situation.
- You are having issues with your spouse.
All these can contribute and increase the risk of Postpartum Depression. If left untreated, it can last for several months or even longer. Sometimes, even if it’s treated, it can still affect future episodes of major depression for mothers.
How to cure depression?
If you ever experience these signs of a depression, treatment must be done promptly. The recovery can vary depending on the severity. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional, and you may be treated by either or both psychotherapy and antidepressants. It would be best if you continued the treatment until you get better. Otherwise, it may lead to a relapse.
How do you prevent a depression?
Prevention is better than cure, so even before the baby comes out, mothers should be well prepared for what’s to come. Here are tips on how to prevent Postpartum Depression:
- Prioritize your relationships. This is the best time to lean on others for support. You’ll need all the help you can get, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself and talk to your family and friends as much as possible. Seek other women who are undergoing the same transition as you do where you can find the reassurance that you are not alone in this and everything is going to be all right.
- Take good care of yourself. Get back to exercise and skip the housework. Most importantly, don’t skimp on sleep. Get as much rest as you can and set quality time for yourself. Don’t forget to go out and get yourself some sunshine.
- Make time for your partner. Hire a babysitter and have some alone, quiet time with your partner. If you can, go out on dates where you don’t get distracted and do what you used to do.
- Secure attachment with your baby is the key. This is formed when mothers can respond to their baby’s needs, whether physical or emotional. You, as the mother and the child, must be in sync. For example, when your baby cries, you should immediately soothe your baby by feeding him or her. And if your baby is smiling, you also respond happily. These actions have to be done consistently for it to succeed. It enables both you and the child to feel completely secure.
Watch out for these signs of depression once you give birth. Explain your concern or what makes you feel bad and sad all the time. Talk to your spouse, parents, and friends and prepare together for it. Love and support from your spouse will certainly help a lot. If you think you are feeling worst, contact a professional immediately.
Last but not least, i would recommend those who is showing signs of a depression after child birth and if there is no one there to help, talk to the professional. I have included a link to Malaysian mental health helplines and resources. MALAYSIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION (MMHA) and seek for appropriate treatment and support.
Share your experience with us, have you encountered a depression after child birth? We love to hear from you.