A baby being born is cause for celebration. Especially in a country like India, where the family ties tend to be close, there is a festive atmosphere at home. However, sometimes the mothers may not share the same enthusiasm. This wave of negative emotions in the middle of what is clearly a happy occasion can be confusing for the new mother.
Interestingly these feelings are not abnormal, as many new moms face postpartum depression, which is also called baby blues. It is an emotional reaction that begins a few days after delivery and lasts not more than 2 weeks.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
- Feelings of anger or irritability.
- Lack of interest in the baby.
- Lack of appetite and sleep disturbance.
- Crying and sadness.
- Irritability or hypersensitivity.
- Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness.
- Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in the things you used to enjoy.
- Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself.
What are the causes of postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression can occur due to a combination of factors.
Hormonal changes: Changes in the level of hormones can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. Changes in your blood volume, blood pressure, immune system and metabolism can contribute to fatigue and mood swings.
Emotional factors: Feeling overwhelmed with the new arrival in the family, and taking care of the baby day and night, may leave you sleep deprived, overexerted, and anxious. New mothers also feel that they look less attractive after pregnancy. You may feel that people around you are concerned with the baby more than you, and that you are being neglected. All these emotional factors may lead to postpartum depression.
Other factors: Issues like breast feeding, financial strain, and relationship troubles can also contribute to postpartum depression.
How does one deal with postpartum depression?
- Take complete rest and sleep for sufficient hours
- Spend quality time with your husband
- Go for healthy diet
- Take morning or evening walk for fresh air
- Try to follow yoga or other exercises
- Share your feelings with your husband or friends
- Do not overexert
- Join some groups for new moms
- Go for individual therapy or counsellors
Remember, postpartum depression is not an incurable problem. It is just a temporary state of mind, which can be overcome if you are sufficiently aware of the problem.