Motherhood is beautiful, but for some moms, not everything is as wonderful as they paint it. It is estimated that, in our country, 10% of women suffer from postpartum depression . Popular belief is that it appears in the first days after childbirth, but the truth is that it can occur even a year later.
Its duration also varies depending on each woman, although it normally begins after giving birth and ranges between 6 or 8 weeks . However, if it is not treated from the beginning and properly, it can persist for months and even years.
For as long as it lasts, people who are close to a mom with postpartum depression should treat her with love and do everything they can to make her life easier. Make her food, help her with the housework, go shopping, take care of the child… All this care will come in handy.
CAUSES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
There is no specific cause to determine why postpartum depression occurs, although it is known that there are certain factors that can increase the risk. Among them, any of the following:
- Lack of pregnancy planning.
- Difficulties in the couple relationship.
- Presence of serious stressful events during pregnancy.
- Previous episodes of depression or bipolar disorder.
- Family history of depressive or bipolar disorders.
This, coupled with the sudden drop in hormones that a woman’s body experiences after giving birth, can cause postpartum depression.
SYMPTOMS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
The symptoms themselves are easy to identify. These are the most common:
- Sadness. The mother feels unhappy and feels like crying for no reason.
- Anxiety. Some women get to the point of not wanting to be alone with the baby.
- loss of appetite The opposite can also happen and they eat much more than they should.
- Lack of interest in sex.
- Inability to perform housework.
- lack of encouragement
- Little interest in life.
- Disinterest in the baby.
HOW IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION TREATED?
If you think you may have postpartum depression or know someone in this situation, it is best to see a doctor so that you can overcome it as soon as possible. You should know that your condition ends up affecting the child.
The most indicated is usually therapy, but there are women who even need medication. It is very important that throughout the process, mothers with postpartum depression are supported by their partner and family.
CAN POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION BE PREVENTED?
Support from loved ones is also very important in preventing postpartum depression. There is no magic formula, but experts offer a series of tips to minimize risk. If you want to try to avoid falling into a depression after giving birth to your baby, try to follow these recommendations:
- Don’t hesitate to ask your partner, your family and your friends for help with both baby care and household chores.
- Don’t be tough. If in doubt, talk to someone you trust.
- Don’t hide your feelings. Share them with your loved ones.
- Try not to make any major changes during your pregnancy or right after giving birth.
- Nobody expects you to be perfect, so don’t be hard on yourself.
- Don’t try to do more than you can handle. Take time for yourself, to go out and meet friends.
- Rest. It’s not easy with a newborn baby, but try sleeping while he sleeps.
- Meet with other moms to talk.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ‘BABY BLUES’
That said, it’s important not to confuse postpartum depression with what’s known as the baby blues —the negative feelings that follow after giving birth. It lasts a few days and affects 7 out of 10 moms. It does not usually require treatment.
If this situation continues beyond two weeks, then it may be necessary to talk about postpartum depression.