Postpartum depression

Common Signs of Postpartum Depression You Need to Know as an Expectant Mom

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Postpartum Depression | Simple Remedies to Overcome It

I experienced depression after my pregnancy. I didn’t understand what was happening, all I knew was I had this intense feelings of sadness, low energy levels, anxiety, irritability, and I cried a lot.

It also didn’t help that my body had gone through some major changes and I now had some ‘imperfections’ I was having a hard time accepting.

With my depression came guilt. I felt a bit ungrateful for being sad after being gifted with one of the most priceless gifts in the world; a baby. Here was something i had been handed on a platter of gold and instead of being overcome with joy, I was consumed with depression.

Related: Sex after Baby: Does It Get Better or Worse?

Because I felt my ‘condition’ was the wrong one, I his it from everyone and pretended to be happy, like everyone expected. Since no one would understand what I was going through (I didn’t myself), I felt hiding it was the smart thing to do.

It took some intense research and talking to a few trusted friends to understand what I was going through had a name postpartum depression or postnatal depression.

I also got to understand that I wasn’t the only one experiencing it as an estimated 10-15% of new moms the world over experience this extreme sadness or postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression
Woman suffering from postpartum depression

Here are Some Other Key Facts about Postpartum Depression You Should Know

  • Postpartum depression is also called postnatal depression and new dads have also been reported to experience it.
  • While only a low percentage of new dads experience post natal depression (2 – 25%), this figure can increase greatly (up to 50%) if the mom is also suffering from post partum depression.
  • Postnatal depression doesn’t necessarily start immediately after childbirth as it could delay as much as a few weeks after it.
  • There are factors that places you at risk of a postnatal depression such as having a difficult pregnancy, haven had previous miscarriages, having a premature or ill baby, having a history of extreme mood disorder, an extreme lack of rest or sleep, a stressful life event or loss, and a lack of support from your partner.

Read Also: 7 Common Pregnancy Complications to Guard Against

  • Being very young in age also predisposes you to post natal depression.
  • Haven had a lot of previous pregnancies ( the more you’ve had, the higher the likelihood of falling into post partum depression) also places you at risk.
  • For men, cases of postnatal depression have been linked to a fee causes, including being unable to form a bond with the baby, a change in the relationship with the mom, lack of support from family and friends, and having financial difficulties.
  • Seeking treatment early brings about a faster recovery for the sufferer.
Postpartum depression
Postpartum depression

Here are Some Symptoms of Postpartum Depression to Look Out For

  • Feelings of extreme sadness
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • A loss of energy and constantly feeling tired.
  • A feeling of being trapped with no escape in sight.
  • A loss of interest in things around you.
  • Noticeable changes in your sleep pattern; difficulties falling or staying asleep.
  • Withdrawing from people or the society at large.
  • Slight to major problems forming a bond with your baby.
  • A lack of appetite.
  • Having psychotic thoughts and thinking about harming yourself or your baby (however, this only happens in extreme cases as only 1-3 women in every 1,000 ever have it this bad).

Related: 5 Coping Mechanisms for the New Mom with a New Baby

What Causes Postpartum Depression

While there are no known causes of this mental disease, some plausible causes include:

  • Having gone through a stressful pregnancy.
  • Having one or more emotional or stressful life challenges.
  • Having a partner who shows very little to no support.
  • Going through a complicated and stressful childbirth.
  • Experiencing very little to no support from family and friends.
  • Experiencing intense or prolonged financial woes have also been known to trigger episodes of post partum depression.
  • Being diagnosed of a mental health issue.

Proven Cure for Postpartum Depression

Like every other mental disorder, post natal depression can be cured, especially if you seek treatment early.

Here are some time-tested cures for it:

Self Help

Although this isn’t a very easy remedy, especially if you have a strong case of post natal depression, it does work when you go at it consistently.

Self help for post natal depression involves making the conscious effort to control your thought pattern. You would need catch the negative thoughts before they fully form and stop them in track.

Also, you would need to avoid spending a lot of time in your own company, especially at moments when you feel the sad mood coming on.

You would also need to get as much rest or sleep as you possible can.

Talk to Family or Friends

Even when you try to hide how you’re feeling, chances are your loved ones suspect all is not well and would be worried. They would also want you to recover from what ails you and would likely be eager to help.

Get them on board as to how you’re feeling and you might be surprised one or more of them have gone through a similar occurrence and would have an arsenal of solutions to help you through it.

Read More: The New Mom’s Guide to Soothing a Crying Baby

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

If self help isn’t working for you then you might need to go professional.

Seek help from experts who are trained in these fields and will proffer a solution or combination of solutions that’s just right for you.

Make Use of Antidepressants

In extreme cases, you may need to take antidepressants to cure your post natal depression. You should talk to your therapist who will decide if you need this treatment method or not.

Give It Time

Now that you understand what you’re experiencing isn’t unique to you, you’d also need to understand that it sometimes takes a little while for these dark feelings to completely lift. Give yourself the time it requires; follow the treatment you are placed on judiciously and turn to family when it all seem overwhelming.

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