Post Partum Depression

  • What’s the postpartum depression and how long it will lasts?
  • How prevalent the depression is and how it can affect both partners?
  • What are the sign and symptoms?
  • How to deal with postpartum depression and when to consult with doctor?

General information about postpartum depression:

Depression cannot be ignored and it shouldn’t be ignored. First of all everyone should be aware of it that what is postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) can be defined as        “The physical, emotional and behavioural changes a female can experienced after the birth of her baby.”

  • It can be started from 3-4 days to 12 months after the birth of a baby. This condition can lasts from days to weeks or even months if remains untreated.
  • According to a research conducted in 1996 the prevalence rate of PPD is 13%. That means 3 out of 10 women who give birth to a baby are affected by PPD
  • Depression after or during postpartum can be classified into following groups
BluesDay 3 / 4 after delivery.Hours to days.Only family or friend support. No medical treatment required.
Postpartum DepressionWithin 12 months.Weeks to months.Counselling or usually medical treatment required.
Puerperal psychosisWithin 2 weeks.Weeks to months.Hospitalization required.

Sign and symptoms of PPD:

 mild sign and symptoms of PPD are:

  • Sleep pattern changes (sleeplessness)
  • Appetite change (usually decreased)
  • Loss of interest in anything.
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability
  • Low energy level

Severe sign and symptoms of PPD are:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming baby and others
  • Feeling of helplessness

Following are the signs when the new mothers should seek medical help:

  • Symptoms persists more than 2 weeks.
  • She can’t work or function properly.
  • She is extremely panicked and tries to harm herself.

Some symptoms of depression can also be seen in husbands after the birth of a baby. These symptoms are similar to those in mothers. So not only new mothers new fathers also need support, love and care.

Treatment of PPD:

Baby blues or mild symptoms of postpartum depression can be treated at home or by little medical support. Mothers can feel relaxed by following steps. These steps not only treat early symptoms of depression but also prevent depression in new mothers :

  • Ask for help from others. It’s not a bad thing to ask for help. 
  • Take a nap when baby is sleeping.
  • Eat healthy and fresh food. Must include milk, dates, almonds, fruits and meat (mince) in diet.
  • Spend some private time with partner. Discuss problems and future plans.
  • limit visits of other people.
  • Spend some time with other family members and close friends.

To treat severe symptoms of depression following strategies can be made:

  • Medication prescribed by Psychiatrist.
  • Counselling by Psychologist.
  • Hospitalization in severe cases.

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