Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Bayo Ajibola

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression.

Depression associated with pregnancy can be antepartum and postpartum, both of which are temporary and can be treated. Postpartum depression is a common form of depression suffered by mothers after childbirth arising from hormonal changes, adjustment to parenthood, fatigue and other psychological related factors.

It is a common problem affecting about 15% of women each year and also their partners, as there are fathers who experience such depression as they are confused and scared about the idea of new parenthood.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD) are as follows:

  • Feeling of sadness, hopelessness and crying
  • Anger and irritability, withdrawal from people.
  • Difficulty eating and sleeping, Tiredness
  • Difficulty bonding or taking care of your baby and thoughts or hallucinations of harming your baby
  • Screwed sleep pattern: can’t sleep at night or stay awake during the day
  • Lack of interest in fun and regular activities
  • Lack of concentration and thoughts of taking pills, running away to feel better
  • Fear of lacking in your motherly duties and your child taken away from you if you told anyone
  • Emptiness and feeling that you’re stuck with this situation forever, crying for no reason all the time.

Researchers believe that due to hormonal changes after childbirth which is associated with postpartum depression, other factors place some women at higher risk, such as:

  • Loss of job and income
  • History of depression, mental illness or medical illness like Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS or PMDD)
  • Lack of social or family support
  • Anxiety and depression during pregnancy
  • Being single or unwanted pregnancy
  • Financial and Marital stress
  • Multiple babies or defect in baby
  • Complications in birth and breastfeeding
  • Women who have undergone infertility treatments

Mothers suffering from postpartum depression need to get professional help and support by speaking out (you aren’t crazy or the only one suffering such). It is treated by talking to your GP/health care provider or a therapist about your situation and symptoms. So also, you can help yourself while getting professional help by doing the following:

  • Share your feelings with your partner/spouse or family. You can also join a support group for mothers experiencing such to help you.
  • Take good care of yourself (physically), pamper yourself to eat and sleep well. Go out for a walk, see a movie or read.
  • Ask for help from friends and family to support you in babysitting or caring for you and your baby.

Is it Postnatal Depression or Just Baby Blues?

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