Postnatal depression(PND) is a very serious and concerning condition for both mom and baby, firstly let’s break the stereotype because this is a reality that affects at least one in three mothers and that is up to 30%. As women we all know we all have our own fair share of being driven by hormones, PND is not necessarily/entirely hormonal but there are drastic changes happening with pregnancy and post-pregnancy. It is not your fault and it doesn’t make you a bad mother.
The Baby Blues
Baby blues can happen even to the most positive new mothers, it is common as the result of hormone changes. The baby blues are those feelings of irritability, anxiety and emotional distress but they only last for a few weeks.
It is the emotions a woman goes through during pregnancy and post-pregnancy which can result from baby blues that do not subside over time resulting to extreme anxiety or depression (visit the website & read more on depression on the article titled “could you be suffering from depression”). Mothers who have suffered depression before are more prone to PND. Know that is not just baby blues when things are getting worse with more overwhelming feeling, you detach, panic, anger quickly, cry easily and mothers with postnatal depression struggle to feel attached or bond with their babies.
KNOWING THE SIGNS OF PND IN MOMS
Symptoms of PND
Tearfulness for no reason
Lack of concentration and energy
Loss of pleasure and interest
Problems with bonding with your baby
Feelings of worthlessness
Thoughts of suicide and/or harming yourself & the baby
Excessive worry & anxiety
What are the risk factors?
If you previously suffered from depression
Unplanned or complicated pregnancy
Lack of emotional support
Being a victim of abuse
Debunk some of the Myths about PND
*Fiction – Fact
* PND is entirely caused by hormonal changes – It is caused by other factors as well
* Only mothers suffer from it – Dads get it too
* It is less severe than other types of depression – It is just as serious as others
* It will go away by itself – Unlike baby blues, it can only be resolved with treatment
* It is normal to experience PND after birth – Baby blues affect more mums but they subside
Struggling to come into terms with being a mom is not a shame, you need to come out and ask for help if you are not coping. This is not a 9 to 5 job but a 24/7 on-call duty, you are probably from exhausting months of pregnancy and the body is tired mixed with lack of sleep. When left untreated it can resurface and become increasingly worse with subsequent births. Do it for yourself, your partner/relationship, other family members and importantly for your newborn because in severe cases it can lead to death of a baby or the mother. Speak out, it is treatable.
**THE PERFECT MUM IS A MYTH**