Postnatal depression is very common nowadays as women struggle with the signs and symptoms. The condition is so common among new mothers and they often do not realize they are affected. At least 1 in 8 women suffer from postnatal depression which needs to be treated as soon as possible. The most common symptoms of postnatal depression include anxiety, tiredness, and low mood.
The right treatment can help you overcome depression. Treatment options include antidepressants, behavioral therapy, and counseling sessions. A combination of treatments may also be required depending on the symptoms and level of your depression.
What is Postnatal Depression?
Postnatal depression and baby blues are two common conditions after childbirth. Although both the conditions are very similar, they should not be confused. The symptoms of baby blues occur in the initial week after childbirth. The new mum can feel tired, weepy, and anxious as the child arrives. This is just because of the tiredness of bringing the child into the world. However, the symptoms will disappear after a few weeks. The baby blue feelings remain for a few weeks only after which they will disappear.
Postnatal depression is different in terms of signs and symptoms. Postnatal depression is not simply a condition that can be ignored or will go away on its own. It should be treated as it will not go away without help. The diagnosis should be made as early as you realize any symptoms of depression. It will help you get better more quickly through support and medications.
What causes the Postnatal Depression?
New mums often seek help from their GP to treat their symptoms of postnatal depression. It may cause trouble with their daily life and activities. Not all women are well aware of postnatal depression as they usually do not believe in seeking help for it. The fact should be known that postnatal depression does not go away until it is treated under professional guidance. Stress makes the problem worse and women struggle with severe symptoms. One in eight women has postnatal depression in the United Kingdom. This says it is far more common than it was in the past days.
So, what actually causes postnatal depression is the real question. Some women may be depressed after the birth of their child while others may feel perfectly normal. Even experts do not have a definite reason why this happens. There is no one cause to be blamed for having postnatal depression. There is no reason to be safe from depression after the second child if you did not have the signs after your first child. Sometimes, it happens just because of your life circumstances and the stress you have been facing.
The common reasons why you may be likely to suffer from postnatal depression are discussed below. You may be having financial or health issues which may make your symptoms even worse. You may lack support from your relatives or friends and may feel lonely. Difficult labor is also a cause for having depressed feelings. Sad memories may make your mood low and you may find it difficult to care or your baby.
How to Know If You Have Postnatal Depression?
Every woman has varying symptoms of postnatal depression. The signs should be noted before they get worse. The people around a new mum can easily spot the symptoms. The common symptoms you may notice yourself include feeling sad, tired, hopeless, guilty, miserable, tearful, and anxious. Moreover, lack of appetite and energy are also signs of having depression. You may also not be able to enjoy anything when you are feeling low.
It is not necessary that you have all the symptoms at once. You may have one or a couple of signs indicating postnatal depression. Although it is absolutely normal to feel bad on some days, this feeling should persist for longer periods. You should always seek treatment when you are having a tough time.
Postnatal depression can occur anytime after you give birth. The hormones play a major role in the occurrence of postnatal depression and it may last longer if you do not seek treatment earlier. The first year is usually most likely to hit you with the symptoms of postnatal depression and you should be aware of the signs. You will be enjoying your time with the newborn baby before the symptoms occur. So, there is no guarantee that you will be safe from the signs if it did not happen in the initial days already.
How is Postnatal Depression Treated?
Postnatal depression needs help as the signs usually persist for longer if left untreated. Help and guidance will help you cope with the symptoms and you will feel supported. Your health visitor can guide and support you well so that you can look after yourself and get rid of the depressed mood sooner. Although mild postnatal depression may not need full treatment or therapy, self coping strategies can help you recover from the symptoms.
Talking Therapy – Talking to a friend can help you cope up with stress and problems. It is a therapy that can work wonders in many cases. Counselors and psychotherapists are there to help people struggling with feelings of sadness and stress in their lives. They work to support you and save your relationships.
Medication – Severe symptoms of depression may usually need antidepressants to balance the hormones in the body. Medication helps you to recover sooner and raises the levels of serotonin hormone in the body. The treatment may take some time as the first few doses might not work at once. Medication should be carefully used if you are a breastfeeding mother as most medicines can pass onto your baby through the feed. You should, therefore, take medicine only when your GP prescribes. Antidepressants can work to increase your self-esteem and overcome feelings of guilt and sadness.
How Can You Cope with Postnatal Depression?
Self-help tips can help a great deal in coping with the symptoms of depression. Depression can be dangerous for you and your baby in case it brings thoughts of harming someone. It needs to be treated sooner and under guidance.
A new mother usually lacks rest when the new arrival demands all of her time and attention. Napping is best for regaining energy when you feel drained. Make use of the time when your baby sleeps.
Healthy eating is another way to revitalize you. Good food can boost your energy levels as it fuels your body. Exercise makes your body and mind energized as well.
Meeting and socializing with new mums can also help you share your feelings with them. Also, be kind to yourself so that you may take care of your bodily needs.
Is It Possible to Prevent Postnatal Depression?
Postnatal depression can hit mothers regardless of their previous history. There is no definite reason for knowing whether you will be the victim in the coming time or not. Doctors may prescribe medication for fighting off depression beforehand to be on the safe side while this may not be recommended by other doctors. It is highly recommended that you take care of yourself after childbirth. Try to reduce your stress levels to minimize the symptoms and struggles you are facing. Also, make yourself aware of the information on postnatal depression online. This will prepare you for what to expect and do in case you have symptoms.