Liz had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and a fairly uncomplicated child birth. She planned everything in advance, had her bags packed in her eighth month, her baby shower was stellar and her baby nursery looked like a dream.
But a day after her baby was born, she felt a sharp pang of sadness and emptiness. She couldn’t figure out why that feeling was overpowering her otherwise blissful life. Every thing was just the way she wanted, her baby was healthy and her husband and family were fully supportive yet she couldn’t help but feel depressed!
Does this feel relatable to you? Did you have postpartum depression too?
WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Pregnancy and childbirth sways your body into a hurricane of hormones. Not to forget the trauma of childbirth and anxiety and fear of handling a baby sometimes overrides the joy and happiness of being a mom.
Sometimes, it gets a little more serious and leads to postpartum depression.
A majority of women experience baby blues. It starts from the second or third day post child birth and lasts for upto a few weeks!
Sometimes it does take longer than usual and in some cases it also leads to major depression later in life!
* Crying spells
* Constant Sadness
* Appetite changes
Whilst there are no stated reasons for postpartum depression, biological and hormonal changes can be a trigger.
After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
In some cases, emotional issues like over whelming feeling of being a new mother, being sleep deprived and the struggle of breastfeeding and diaper changing can lead to depression.
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IN FATHERS
Yes! It can happen to new dads too. Often due to the same physiological reasons such as anxiety, tiredness and sleep deprivation.
HOW TO HANDLE IT
The best way to handle it is by recognising the symptoms and accepting that it exists. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. Do not hesitate in speaking to a friend or if it’s really severe, go to a doctor.
A professional will be able to help and support you through proper medication and guidance.
DO NOT LET IT GO
Depression at any point in life is like a termite. It eats you up from within.
Postpartum depression in particular can affect your bonding with the baby. It can also harness your ability to take care of your child. To be an available and efficient parent, you need to put yourself first and get yourself the right care and treatment.
Motherhood is a beautiful journey. But it has its bumpy rides. Do not let anxiety and depression ruin the very beginning.
Happy mothers make happy children!Ismat Sameer Ismail