5 October 2020 14:36
Having a child is supposed to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling experiences one can have.
That’s why it's often so jarring for many to find themselves feeling down after the arrival of a new baby.
Whilst it’s entirely normal to sometimes feel a little down for the first two weeks after the birth of a child; so common in fact that the condition has been nicknamed the ‘baby blues.’ However, sometimes these feelings can become more severe and long-lasting. Postpartum or postnatal depression is a common condition that affects roughly 1 in 10 women - although partners of any gender can be affected.
Many incidents of postpartum depression go unreported because it can set in very gradually. Symptoms most frequently arise after around 2 months, but they can appear at any point in the first year after pregnancy.
Typically, depression can take any number of different forms:
In the case of postpartum depression, people can specifically feel...
Depression is often accompanied by anxiety and anxiety-related issues after birth are in fact more common than depressive symptoms. In the case of parents experiencing postpartum depression, this can specifically relate to:
Exactly what causes postpartum depression is still not clear and there are as yet, no universally accepted methods of prevention. It’s thought that genetic factors play a significant role; meaning that if people have a family history of depression or mental ill-health, they are more prone to develop postpartum depression
The most effective method of treatment will vary from person to person and case to case. In general, it is best to practice good self-care regardless. Self-care can include:
Needless to say, these can be hard to do at the best of times, nevermind when one has a new baby to care for as well.
Antidepressants or other medications may be prescribed on occasion, but this may vary as some medications are not able to be used whilst breastfeeding. For many, therapy - as provided by a trained and professional psychologist - can be of great help in dealing with the issues that they face on a day to day basis.
Postpartum depression can be serious, especially if left to worsen without intervention. It has been estimated that as little as 15% of women that experience postpartum depression receive treatment. However, it's important to remember that sufferers are not alone and most cases are temporary. With the right help, the vast majority of people continue to lead full, happy lives with their children.