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The birth of a child is the time to rejoice. However, some women after the birth of a child may get mixed emotions both of joy as well as anxiety. They may experience mood swings, sadness, crying spells, etc. Does all this sound familiar to all mothers?

‘Baby Blues’

‘Baby Blues’ is what most all mothers experience from the first or second day till about two weeks after delivery. The mothers are elated about having become a mother but at the same time, they are anxious about a lot of other things. They have difficulty sleeping, difficulty handling the baby leading to crying spells and mood swings. All this is very natural as our brain takes some time to adapt to change.

A few new mothers might experience these baby blues in a more severe form lasting for a much longer duration. It can interfere in handling the daily tasks of the child. This situation is what is of concern and is called Postpartum Depression.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

  1. Mood swings
  2.  Sadness
  3. Problem Concentrating
  4. Crying
  5. Change in appetite
  6. Difficulty in taking decisions
  7. Insomnia
  8. Feeling unworthy
  9. Feeling guilty
  10. Loss of energy
  11. Agitation
  12. Difficulty in bonding with the baby
  13. Withdrawal from family and friends
  14. Suicidal thoughts

Causes of Postpartum Depression

Some women are affected severely while others are not. There are several factors internal and environmental that can trigger Postpartum Depression. Some of these are:

  1. Changes in hormonal (estrogen and progesterone) levels
  2. Family history of depression
  3. Bipolar disorder
  4. Pregnancy complications
  5. Financial problems
  6. Health complications of the baby
  7. Having twins or triplets
  8. Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  9. Changes in appearance during pregnancy and after child birth
  10. Weak support system
  11. Loss of job
  12. Relationship problems with spouse

 Postpartum In New Fathers

It is not just the mother who can go through postpartum depression, at times the father too can undergo this emotional strain. They might feel a pinch in losing privacy with their partner. The insecurity, sadness, anxiety, unusual eating and sleeping patterns, financial increase, work pressure all might lead to postpartum depression in a new father. This is called Paternal Postpartum.

Coping and Treatment

It is wise not to prolong consulting a professional for help when you first observe the signs of postpartum depression. The person experiencing it might not be a good judge of their condition. It becomes the responsibility of the spouse or other family members or even close friends to take the first step. Support of family and friends does wonders in such situations.

Besides therapy and medication a few steps that one can take to cope with postpartum depression are:

  1. Maintain social connections
  2. Exercise
  3. Eat healthy food
  4. Indulge in self care
  5. Get as much sleep as possible
  6. Breastfeeding helps to establish a close bond with the baby
  7. Leave the baby with someone responsible and take a break
  8. Get out of the house for a change
  9. Connect with new moms
  10. Accept help from friends and family

For postnatal care read our article sutika paricharya (postnatal care ayurveda and yoga)

A Word from H2F Care

Plan your motherhood well. Do not let the family members rush you into an important phase of life when you are not prepared for it mentally. Enjoy the nine months of pregnancy even if there are any complications. Ups and downs are part of life. If there would be no difficult times, we will not appreciate the happy moments. Discuss your apprehensions about delivery with your doctor well before it is time. The moment when the child is born and the first time you hold your baby is not going to come again so cherish each moment. Capture and save your child’s daily progress and enjoy each phase of it.

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