Postpartum Depression – Reasons, Symptoms and Treatment
Postpartum depression is only a medical term but all together it is a feeling of pain, grief, sadness and gloom followed by immense pain and finally leading you to depression. I have myself faced this problem for around 2 months post delivery. I found the following reasons that led me to postpartum depression:
What Leads to Postpartum Depression?
1. Lack of Attention/ Care to a New Mother
When I was pregnant I was the star, but after the birth of my baby, when I was weak and needed more care, I was told to be responsible and I was obviously taken less care as compared to my pregnancy days. I was scolded at times by my elders for not properly feeding my baby and other related issues.
I used to constantly get the feeling that I will be a failed mother in future. I was so sure about it, I was initially unable to hold my baby, could not breastfeed her properly and felt like a complete failure in this phase of my life.
3. Confined to Boundaries
I felt my normal life, the life I was leading where I was free to move had actually changed. I was not allowed to go out, I was supposed to be restricted to the home and that filled my heart with gloom and detached me from society.
4. Body Changes
I had a normal delivery and a smooth pregnancy, but post-delivery my body experienced a drastic change in terms of weakness. The hair fall was unimaginable.
5. Dependence on Others
I had very less knowledge in handling a baby, so the people around me, especially the elders, would impose their standard myths of breastfeeding and taking care of the baby on me. Like don’t breastfeed after a head wash, don’t feed while you are not well or you have a fever.
7. Lack of Awareness
I feel there is very less awareness related to this topic in India, I was unaware of this topic and I was scared to come out and discuss this issue as I thought that probably people will think I have gone mad.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
- Constantly irritated and crying
- I stopped trusting people around. I felt even my husband could not handle her and could not hold her properly.
- Always breaking into verbal abuse and fights.
- If my baby used to sleep, then also I would remain awake. I almost lost my sleep.
- I used to feel that I should actually commit suicide as I am useless, failed mother and this was the final call for me to actually find out the reason for my condition and start working on it.
- How to Fight Postpartum Depression
1. You Are the Answer
This problem is all in your head and only you yourself can come out of it. And the very favourable phrase that ” This too shall pass” gave me a lot of mental strength and I finally believed that the situation will not remain the same, time will definitely change and everything will be fine.
2. Proper Diet Regime
Follow a strict diet regime, no skipping of meals.
3. Take Help of the Internet
I sought the help of the internet and all the sites would suggest me to practise yoga. But trust me I was unable to do so. Initially, it is very difficult to include yoga and meditation in your schedule. But I would watch funny videos, would buy something and basic internet activities that made me feel still attached to the world.
4. Start Believing in Yourself
It is good to listen to your elders but trust your paediatrician more. Don’t let yourself get carried away with the myths. Be diligent and careful enough to make sure your baby receives an adequate amount of breast milk in the initial months of her life.
3. Dark Chocolate and Banana
Antidepressants. Try it, you will yourself feel so.
Today I feel I never had that depression in me but trust me, when I was undergoing that situation, it was the worst time I had seen in my entire life. You are not alone, this problem is very common in new mothers. The only concern is the lack of awareness in India. I feel there should be programmes where pregnant women must be educated regarding this alarming issue. Rehabilitation clubs for postpartum depression should be formulated and this taboo of seeing your doctor or telling someone, feeling ashamed to share your feelings and constantly thinking people will consider you demented should not be there and you should be free to discuss your problems with your loved ones or a counsellor. If still, the problem persists then you should not take a minute to visit your doctor and stick to their advice and prescriptions.
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