Is there life after childbirth: what is postpartum depression
Nine months of impatient expectation of the desired baby, and now the birth is behind. Everything went well, the young mother is finally at home. But a few days passed – and the mood is rapidly declining. From somewhere anxiety, irritability comes, tears come to the eyes. Everything is clear, postpartum depression – say home. Is it so?
There are various postpartum disorders: maternal (infant) melancholy, postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis. It is important to be able to distinguish between them.
Very often maternal melancholy is taken for postpartum depression. This condition is also called infant melancholy, and in English literature – postpartum blues, baby blues (English blues – longing, spleen).
What is it expressed in?
A woman becomes irritable.
She has an inexplicable feeling of anxiety.
She gets tired quickly.
She often cries without any reason.
She doesn’t sleep well.
Fatigue and lack of initiative are characteristic of melancholy.
Maternal melancholy develops on the 3rd day after childbirth, just as the mother and baby return home from the hospital. And lasts about 2 weeks.
This condition is associated with hormonal changes after childbirth: the level of progesterone and estrogen in the body drops sharply.
According to various sources, from 50 to 80% of young mothers experience such baby blues.
Doctors do not consider maternal melancholy a pathology. Usually this condition goes away on its own and the woman does not need any treatment. But the help of relatives, their support for mom is very necessary. Then she will suffer maternal melancholy much easier.
Unlike postpartum blues, this condition is more severe. Depression develops imperceptibly, 3-4 weeks after the birth of the child, sometimes later. It can last a long time, a year or more.
How is postpartum depression manifested?
Bad mood, sadness, longing, depression for no reason – a woman experiences these feelings constantly.
Loss of interest, indifference to everything, including to your child.
Fatigue, slowness, unwillingness to do anything, even talk.
Self-doubt, low self-esteem.
Fears for your health, health and life of the child.
Feeling guilty without reason.
Thoughts of suicide.
Postpartum Depression May Last About A Year
Not all of these symptoms are necessarily present, but if there are several symptoms, this is a cause for alarm.
There are disorders at the level of the body:
decreased sexual desires;
dry skin, hair loss;
pains of various localization.
Doctors distinguish several groups of causes of postpartum depression.
1. Physiology. As with baby blues, these are dramatic changes in hormone levels. Often, postpartum depression affects women with reduced thyroid hormone production.
3. Psychology. When a child appears in the family, the whole way of life changes. The main load: taking care of the baby, and housekeeping – falls on mom. Fatigue, lack of sleep, anxiety over a baby exhaust. Often, if the child is the first-born, the woman is afraid that she will not cope with new responsibilities. Sometimes she worries about her stout figure, stretch marks, she is tormented by the fear that her husband will fall out of love with her.
In connection with the birth of a child, mom needs the support of loved ones
4. Social life. In the first months of the child’s life, the mother falls out of the usual circle of friends: work, study, girlfriends, etc. She actually remains face to face with the baby. Some women suffer such forced retreat quite hard.
Postpartum depression is undoubtedly a disease, and like any disease, it must be treated. It will not pass by itself.
This term refers to a serious postpartum mental disorder. Fortunately, it rarely arises – one or two mothers out of a thousand suffer from it.
Postpartum psychosis is manifested either immediately, in the first days after the birth of the baby, or after one to two months.
It all starts with insomnia, however, she does not cause mom special discomfort. Sometimes a woman stops eating.
Sharp leaps in mood are characteristic: excitement, euphoria is followed by deep apathy or aggression.
Mom often has various obsessive thoughts, ideas: a child in the hospital was replaced or they want to steal the baby. A woman believes that others can read her thoughts.
Postpartum Psychosis Must Be Treated
Hallucinations, usually auditory, delirium appear.
Thoughts about suicide, murder come to mind. With severe postpartum mental disorders, it can harm the baby, cripple and even kill the baby.
The reason is the postpartum change in the hormonal background with factors predisposing to psychosis. The latter include:
depressive states, mental illnesses, or mental disorders that occurred before pregnancy.
It is necessary to treat postpartum psychosis.