What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a disorder characterized by a sad mood or depressed state that occurs after childbirth. It is also called postnatal depression.
It can have different levels of intensity, from being virtually null to attain high levels. It particularly affects 8 out of 10 women during the first week after birth, a period in which the symptoms are most prominent. It can also affect men, specially those who become parents for the first time. In men postpartum depression is not so common.
Most women usually have some degree of postpartum depression, which is called “postpartum blues.” Even some women have some degree of depression before the birth. These disorders often disappear naturally after a few weeks. But a real postpartum depression is a one that lasts longer with some continuing symptoms.
Women who have mothers who have suffered the same disorder are more likely to have postpartum depression.
Also other factors can influence, such as premature birth, accidental pregnancy, late pregnancy or premature problematic pregnancies, lack of partner support, accidents or deaths of relatives, the character of the baby (very nervous babies, babies who do not sleep well, who get sick, who eat little, etc), physical or psychological health of the affected women (mothers under strict diets or eating problems, women with a history of depression, etc)
Types of postpartum depression
There are two types of postpartum depression:
– Immediate depression: It is the one that takes place two or three days after delivery. It has a duration ranging from 15 to 20 days and usually disappears spontaneously without the woman realizes it.
– Delayed Depression: It is the one that does not appear immediately after delivery. It is generally less intense but with a longer duration.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
The main symptoms of postpartum depression are:
– Personality disorders: sadness, anxiety, desire to mourn, low self-esteem, disappointment, fear of losing a child, fear of loneliness, etc.
– Behavior disorders: lack of interest in life, loss of appetite, social isolation, laziness in household chores, etc.
– Disorders of thought: persistent negative and obsessive thoughts, guiltiness, inability to concentrate, pessimism, thoughts of suicide or self-mutilation, fear of losing your child or partner, etc.
Causes of postpartum depression
The main causes of postpartum depression are:
– Physical. They are those produced by hormone changes occurring in pregnancy. It should be added to the hormonal changes the effort involved in having to get up at night, inability to sleep, watch for breastfeeding breaks, diaper changes, etc.
– Psychological: The increase of responsibility, the necessity to take care of of a new person, the loss of a supposed “freedom” before pregnancy or childbirth, the fear of being unable to face a new life, etc, are all possible doubts in the psyche of the woman who has had a child.
Diagnostics and treatment of postpartum depression
Treatment of postpartum depression requires a multifaceted approach in which the patient needs attention from doctors and relatives.
The patient’s couple should underestimate the negative feelings of the woman concerned, since she lives them deeply. It is important for the partner of the affected woman to provide emotional support and aid in the care of the baby and new household chores.
The patient should not neglect her personal well being for the benefit of the baby and for herself and the people around her. Proper care of her food, her spare time and sleep schedule should be taken. She must learn to recognize when her obligations deserve a break dedicated to herself. Moderate physical activity is a good way to release tension and increase the defenses of the person concerned.
As an aid measure, the woman concerned should talk to her friends or relatives who have passed similar crisis or, even better, it is very interesting for her to participate in support groups where other experienced women can help her to overcome this disorder.
Natural treatment of the postpartal depression
The natural treatment of the postpartal depression supposes the use of a series of natural resources that can aid to prevent it or to improve its symptoms. It supposes a natural alternative to anti depressing drugs.
More information on the postpartum depression natural treatment.