Childbirth can trigger a mix of and roller coaster of emotions for the new mother. And one of the most common complications resulting from that is postpartum disorder.
To learn more about it, you should keep reading in the following for the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment methods.
Symptoms And Diagnosis
The symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) are intense even if it is mistaken for baby blues. They last longer (can begin during pregnancy or up to one year after birth) and are more intense (can interfere with one’s daily activities, including handling daily tasks and caring for baby).
The signs and symptoms develop after giving birth, usually within the first few weeks. Some of them include,
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Isolation, withdrawing from family and friends
- Severe mood swings and depressed mood
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Excessive crying
- Excessive sleeping
- Intense anger or irritability
- Reduced ability in making decisions and thinking clearly
- Insomnia or inability to sleep
- Severe panic attacks and anxiety
- Guilt, shame and feeling of worthlessness
- Reduced or lack of pleasure and interest in their favorite activities
- Eating much more than usual or loss of appetite
- Loss of energy or overwhelming fatigue
- Suicidal thoughts that won’t fade
- Thoughts about harming the baby or herself
Left untreated, mothers with PPD may suffer from at least two of the symptoms for months or even a year.
If you’re suffering from PPD symptoms and feeling totally down after childbirth, you may be embarrassed or reluctant to recognize and eventually admit your situation.
But you should be transparent and let someone know about it. Also, you should call your doctor for an appointment especially if your PPD is…
- Not fading for more than two weeks
- With thoughts of harming either your baby or yourself
- Affecting your daily life
- Is getting worse
- Making it hard for you to take care of yourself and baby
The doctor will ask you to complete a depression-screening questionnaire and ask whether you’ve felt depression, hopelessness or low mood in the past month.
He/she would also ask whether or not you still enjoy the activities you used to enjoy. Also, the GP may ask if you have problems in sleeping, making decisions and eating disorders. He/she may also ask if you have changes in appetite, anxiety and self-confidence problems.
Answering “yes” to three of the questions may suggest mild PPD while more means a severe PPD. On the other hand, an automatic severe PPD is the case for mothers who answered “yes” to harming herself or the baby.
Postpartum depression is characterized by an extremely low mood with the abovementioned symptoms. There are extremely critical situations for mothers and infants when doctors even recommend staying at the hospitals and CLHF homes. They believe that it is important to receive professional support after the delivery because of increased risk of occurrence and recurrence of psychological disorders.
It is important to note that PPD is treatable and here are some of the treatment methods.
This method involves talking through and counseling with a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist. Through it, you can look for better ways to solve your problems and cope with your negative thoughts and feelings.
With psychotherapy, you’ll also learn how to respond to situations positively in order to eliminate hopelessness and set realistic goals to restore focus and concentration.
Another treatment method for postpartum disorder includes medications like antidepressants. You and your doctor will work together to weigh the risks and benefits of taking these medications especially if you’re breastfeeding.
But in most cases, antidepressants can be safe and carry minimal risks and side effects for your little one.
In addition to antidepressants and psychotherapy, you can also try alternative medicine to deal with the symptoms of PPD. It is a natural treatment option like aromatherapy and massage that can be safe for baby and you.
But now, another emerging option in treating PPD is marijuana.
According to some sources, using compounds from cannabis strains can help in restoring the normal function of the body’s endocannabinoid system that will eventually aid in normalizing mood and alleviating depression.
Final Thoughts: Can You Overcome PPD?
Yes, but the first step is to recognize and admit you may be having it and talking to your doctor for help in working out the right solution for you. Finally, ask him about the treatment methods, including psychotherapy, alternative medicine and antidepressants, available for postpartum depression.