What should be the most joyous time in a new parent’s life is often a moment carried by sadness despair and anxiety for some women. Meeting your baby for the first time is one of the joyous moments in one’s life, but of nearly one in seven cases, women suffer from postpartum depression.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a mental mood disorder that affects a woman after giving birth. Those who fall into the experience feel extreme sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety that make it harder for them to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
According to Postpartum Progress, nearly 20% of women are affected by postpartum depression. However, the statistics are claimed to be inaccurate as many women may be too afraid to report that they are suffering.
Here are eight postpartum depression facts all moms need to know now.
Fact #1: Postpartum depression includes anxiety and other related mood disorders
Postpartum depression is referred to as perinatal mood and anxiety. There are four types of PPMD: anxiety, depression, panic attacks and OCD. Referring to the symptoms will make it less confusing for mothers who are anxious but not depressed. There is no one size fits all symptom.
Fact #2: Any mom is susceptible to Postpartum depression
While a previous history of mood disorders can make the woman more likely to experience postpartum depression, half the cases of women are their first episode of depression. Another factor that may cause as a risk for women includes pregnancy complications, health problems, premature baby, or lack of support system.
Fact #3: The Lack of Sleep May Increase the Risk of Postpartum Depression
Any mother or father will say that it is nearly impossible to get enough sleep during the first few months. That’s why doctors always focus on treating PPMD with sleep therapy. If the mother can have at least five to six hours of sleep plus a nap during the day, they will feel a lot better within the next couple weeks.
Fact #4: There are many symptoms related to other depressive disorders
Regular symptoms of depression include difficulty concentrating, sadness, and lack of pleasure, trouble sleeping and thoughts of hurting oneself. Women with postpartum depression experience anxiety about being left with the baby, not being a good mom, thoughts of hurting or dropping the baby, and not being able to sleep.
Fact #5: Many women are still afraid to speak up
Many women who suffer from postpartum depression assume that they are supposed to act a certain way and are ashamed when they don’t feel what everyone expects them to believe. In reality, many women who are suffering are hiding their symptoms.
Fact #6: Postpartum psychosis is extremely rare
The most severe cases of PPD are postpartum psychosis. It is extremely rare and affects around 1 in 1,000 women. However, when someone is psychotic, they are not able to make healthy choices for themselves, much less take care of their child.
Postpartum psychosis leads to paranoia, days without sleep, and carrying out thoughts of hurting themselves of their baby. Other signs often include delusions and hallucinations, which makes the case a clinical emergency.
Fact #7: Treatment for PPD includes support, cognitive behavioural therapy, and sleep.
Therapy sessions are an essential part of treating women who are suffering from postpartum depression. Women must learn to understand that what they are experiencing is not their fault. In most cases, women will learn to build hope while some will need anti-anxiety or anti-depressants to recover fully.
Once the mom is cleared for physical exercise, doctors will advise them to start aerobic activity to help balance the mood.
Fact #8: Postpartum depression does not make you a horrible mother
It can be unbearable even to think about having other than happy thoughts about your new baby, but PPD is normal and should not reflect your abilities as a mother. Don’t be afraid to seek treatment and ask for help.
Without treatment, postpartum depression can affect not only the woman but the entire family for months or even years. If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression, now’s the time to talk with your healthcare provider and give you the support you need.
Have you or someone you know suffered from postpartum depression? How was it handled? Feel free to comment below and share your experience with us!