Motherhood is a divine beautiful feeling, but sometimes a new mother may experience uneasiness when dealing with the responsibility of motherhood. Depression is not unusual during and after pregnancy. About 13 % of pregnant women are victims of the depression. Depression after childbirth is called postpartum depression.
Factors of Postpartum Depression
Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal changes may trigger symptoms of postpartum depression. Levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone increase greatly during pregnancy. These hormone levels return to normal quickly within 24 hours after childbirth, Such Drastic change in hormone levels may lead to depression.
Levels of thyroid hormone also decrease after delivery. Drop in thyroid levels can induce symptoms of depression. These symptoms can be backed by a blood test.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
The most common symptoms include:
- Change in eating habits
- Feeling Upset for no ostensible reason
- Change in Sleeping habits
- Mood swings & anxiousness
- Feeling overwhelmed
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Depression develops during or after pregnancy due to:
- An unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
- Health consequences or Complications in pregnancy and childbirth
- Excessive concern about the baby
- Behavior of the male partner. A study published in The Lancet found that psychological violence by the pregnant woman’s partner can increase the risk of postpartum depression
- Lack of family support
- Financial conditions
- A history of mental health problems, or a previous postpartum depression
- Loneliness, not having friends and family around
- Changes in the routines or A lack of free time
- Tiredness of delivery
- Tired from a lack of sleep
- Support Counselling
Sharing your feeling with someone who can understand and listen to you in a non-judgmental way is an effective process to deal with postpartum Depression.
- Psychological treatments
Psychological treatments, are also known as ‘talking therapies’, can be very useful when dealing with mild to moderate postnatal depression.
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
This treatment helps you to identify negative thoughts that commonly occur when someone is experiencing postpartum depression.
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
As postpartum depression can be caused due to previous losses, They may also affect your relationships with others. Interpersonal therapy provides you with helpful strategies to resolve these issues which are likely to affect your postpartum depression.
- Medical treatments
Antidepressant medication is given to those who have moderate to severe symptoms of Postpartum depression.
Postpartum Depression in Working and non working Women
A study conducted by Neha Gurudatt found that higher levels of Postpartum Depression in Non-Working Women (38.27%) in comparison to Working Women (22.5%) in the initial months during the first 2 months of the baby’s birth. Preceding it is during when the baby is 9 months and above.
There are lesser levels of depression in working mothers, this may point towards career being a boost to the mother and fulfilling her social needs as well, also working mothers have an alternative other than the routine domestic household work and also there is a feeling of mutual equality between the spouses leading to a more harmonious relationship
Participation in the social sphere, education, career, income needs, awareness these are some of the pivotal factors in decreasing the levels of depression in women.
Postpartum depression’s symptoms can be traced back to the time during the pregnancy, proper care, necessary rest and exercise become very essential in keeping negative thoughts and depression at bay. Constant support and motivation from spouse and family becomes very essential as the woman undergoes a myriad of hormonal, emotional, physical & psychological changes in her body and mind and help and care becomes a very necessary part. Also, for the well-being of the infant this becomes a crucial factor as the child too is affected when the mother suffers.
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