New to parenthood?
Raising a new-born baby is deemed to be one of the most beautiful moments in the lives of parents; nevertheless, it can also be an extremely action-packed, emotional, dramatic few weeks of the journey. Call them baby blues or an adaption towards parenthood, blame the hormones or the mood swings, but if you’re struggling with it, it’s time to give it a serious consideration.
It’s been more than two weeks, but you are still going through chapters of extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying, change in sleep and eating patterns, fatigue etc., then there's a possibility that the baby blues are now shaping themselves into what medically is called ‘Postpartum Depression (PPD)’.
There is no sure-shot conjecture of the cause, but some premises indicate that depression, PMS, an earlier postpartum depression, stressful environment, social challenges, unwanted pregnancy, genetics and hormonal changes affect it. Some forms of postpartum depression also manifest themselves as hallucinations and homicidal thoughts.
The screening for postpartum depression is done by doctors typically in the first month of childbirth. It is suggested that new-moms should also visit doctors in the second and fourth month as symptoms of PPD, if any, tend to appear during these months. Some doctors also advise screening during the pregnancy phase.
Prevention is better than cure
For better health of the mother and her child, it is recommended to be aware of the factors that may inflict the journey emotionally. The presence of loved ones and a healthy environment is important for an expecting mother to be comfortable and happy. Emotional closeness, proper diet, and exercise are found to be helpful in inhibiting the symptoms of PPD.
Administration of anti-depressants has been found to be effective and certain antidepressants do not have any effect on breast-feeding. However, other techniques like counselling by a mental health expert, support groups, proper diet and other recreational activities are also effective in subsiding the feeling of loneliness in women suffering from PPD.
Make sure you maintain regular visits to your obstetrician during pregnancy and do not brush aside your post-delivery check-ups!