This is a guest post
The birth of your child can be the happiest moment of your life, but you can still develop postpartum depression afterwards. This can not only affect your performance as a mother but also dampen your overall mood.
What is it?
Postpartum depression is depression that may affect mothers after they give birth. Like ordinary depression, you may feel fatigue, sadness, anxiety, and other negative moods, which can bring you down.
The cause of postpartum depression can be due to a variety of factors. These include not getting enough rest after birth and the fact that your hormone levels go down after you give birth. These can lead to postpartum depression.
There may be genetic factors that contribute to developing postpartum depression, and if you had depression before, there may be a higher chance of developing it.
Besides feeling sad, anxious, exhausted, and apathetic, some of the symptoms include:
- Sudden anger
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Not being able to enjoy activities
- Odd aches and pains
- Eating too much or very little
- Not being able to bond with the child
- Constantly worried about taking care of the child
- In severe cases, the mother may have self-harm thoughts, or think about hurting the baby.
If you’ve recently given birth and are experiencing these symptoms, it may be worth it to go see a doctor. They can diagnose your problem and determine whether or not you have postpartum depression.
Left untreated, postpartum depression can lead to fights with your spouse, not bonding with your child as much, and the mother not being able to live a full life. Some people will just dismiss it as the baby blues, but postpartum depression is much more severe, and by treating it, you’ll be blue no more.
Treating Postpartum Depression
Thankfully, postpartum depression can be treated through a variety of ways, which include:
- Counselling. Going to a professional can help you improve your mood and help you treat postpartum depression. There are different types of counselling, with cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy being the most effective for many who suffer from postpartum depression. Cognitive behavioural therapy involves reforming your thoughts into something more positive, and interpersonal therapy involves improving the relationships you have with others.
- Medication. Depression is when the chemicals in your brain are imbalanced, and by taking an antidepressant, it can help rebalance them. It may take a few weeks for the medications to work. They are safe for breastfeeding mothers but talk to your doctor to help relieve any concerns you may have. Also, it may take a bit to find the best medication and dosage that is right for your situation. Always talk to your doctor if your medication isn’t working, or if you think you need to adjust the dosage.
The most effective way to treat postpartum depression is to use both counselling and medication. Medication can help, but it’s not magic. Sometimes, rethinking how you view the world can help you as well. On the other hand, therapy can help, but without the medication, you may still have episodes.
How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last?
Since postpartum depression is due to giving birth, it is temporary. It can last anywhere from a few months, but it can also last for years. Treating it can lessen the time, and you’ll be able to bond with your child much better.
Postpartum depression can be exhausting, but by treating it, you can move on and learn how to be a great mother to your baby.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.