I wanted to talk to all of you about something that most of us women have experienced but have not been able to put a name to it. It is important that those around us also recognise that delivering a baby is not the end of preganancy and all it stands for.
Postpartum depression is a feeling of extreme sadness and related psychological disturbances during the first few weeks or months after delivery. Feeling sad or miserable within 3 days of delivery—is common after delivery. I came to know about it when I started experiencing it myself. I got to know that it’s quite common is nothing more than a serious mood change. It lasts weeks or months and interferes with daily activities is a result of soo many changes that a mother goes through. The hormonal, psychological and biological factors often lead to PPD.
After 12 hrs of labour pain and an unexpected C-section, I went into this mild depression where nothing used to please me. Everyone around me seemed to be happy, people were congratulating me, but all I felt was this big void. It was as if something was missing in my life and I thought it’s just because of the surgery and weight gain etc.
Symptoms may include frequent crying, mood swings, and irritability as well as feelings of extreme sadness. Less common symptoms include extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, loss of interest in sex and other activities, anxiety, appetite changes, and feelings of inadequacy or hopelessness. Women have difficulty functioning. They may have no interest in their baby.
In postpartum psychosis, depression may be combined with suicidal or violent thoughts, hallucinations, or bizarre behavior. Sometimes postpartum psychosis includes a desire to harm the baby. Fathers may also become depressed, and marital stress may increase. Without treatment, postpartum depression can last months or years, and women may not bond with their infant. As a result, the child may have emotional, social, and cognitive problems later. About one in three or four women who have had postpartum depression have it again.
Post Partum Depression Symptoms include –
1. Crying and tearfulness – I went into frequent crying bouts, had mood swings and got irritable. There were feelings of extreme sadness as well because I was constantly thinking that I’d never be as healthy as I was previously.
2. Anxiety and worry – I was constantly afraid that I would drop the baby or hurt her badly by mistake.
3. Irritability and hypersensitivity – Constant chattering aroung me and advice, advice and more advice was driving me insane…I hated speaking to my near and dear ones and also avoided talking on the phone.
4. Anger and feelings of inadequacy or hopelessness.
5. Negative thoughts, extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, appetite changes and to top that I would feel terrible about my post operative condzition.
This phase is also a testing time for the father and ones husband needs to be very understanding and cooperative…
It’s been 4 week since the delivery. It is my family who is supporting me constantly. The love and scolding that goes hand in hand can keep anyone sane. This helped me think and see things normally. I’m getting as much rest as possible by napping she does. I do not have to do any housework because I have family to help in every way. I need help when I shower and dress and for that I have my mum. I am not alone and there is always someone to talk to about my feelings. All of this has made me mentally fit and like I said in my previous post the most important thing. In some cases things can be worse and a combination of counseling and antidepressants is recommended. When one is breast feeding it is also going to effect the child.
One day I’ll look back at this bitter sweet phase in my life I will thank God for those around me, for their encouragement, positive thinking and the unconditional love and sacrifice made for K, the baby and me. Taking care of the three of us and keeping the home running is no small task for anyone.
I would like to warn you about Post partum Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or Post Partum psychosis. It is characterized by violent thoughts or images – about harming your baby. Mothers who spend a lot of time alone or inside home only, can develop this. If you feel you are beginning to think like this, please consult your doctor immediately. These can be extremely harmful to you and the baby. God Bless.
Do share your Postpartum depression experience if you experienced it
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Image – Google