Post natal depression

What is Post natal depression?

Many new mothers sometimes experience mild depression called ” baby blues”. It is very common, affecting an estimated 50 to 75 percent of all new mothers. Baby blues usually appear in the first few days after delivery, and may last only a few days or for a few weeks.

What are the causes of Post natal depression?

Hormonal changes may be one cause of baby blues. After delivery, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop. The mother experiences a similar change during PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Exhaustion from strenuous labour, too little sleep, painful stitches, sore nipples, often give the feeling that she will not be able to cope with motherhood and the responsibilities that come with it. Unhappiness over her looks A sense of loss about her past life that was carefree and career-oriented Baby blues can be worsened by pain after labour, exhaustion and the overwhelming responsibility of a new baby.

What are the symptoms of Post natal depression?

New mothers with baby blues often feel frustrated, unworthy, angry, or lonely. They may often cry or be irritable. They may have frequent mood changes and difficulty in sleeping. Other symptoms include: Constant fatigue Lack of joy in life A sense of emotional numbness or feeling trapped Withdrawal from family and friends Lack of concern for herself or her baby Severe insomnia Excessive concern for the baby Loss of sexual interest or responsiveness A strong sense of failure and inadequacy Severe mood swings High expectations and an overdemanding attitude

What are the riskfactors of Post natal depression?

Following are the several risk factors for depression :

1.     Genetic factors – If a person has someone in the family suffering from a major depressive disorder or any mood disorder, he or she may be on a higher risk of depression.

2.     Childhood trauma – Any trauma such as an accident or death of a parent or a friend in the childhood can increase the chances of depression.

3.     Alcoholism – A person addicted to alcohol or even drugs are at risk of experiencing depression.

4.     Work status – Too much stress at the workplace can lead to major depressive disorder.

5.     Marital status – A person in a toxic marriage or domestic abuse may be prone to depression.

6.     Diseases-  Serious illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and thyroid can also lead to depression.

7.     Age and gender-  People in the age group between 20 and 40 are more prone to depression. Women are at a much higher risk than men.

Depression is caused due to many factors and most importantly, due to the release of certain chemicals in the brain. The complete prevention of depression cannot be assured but there are some ways like:

 

1.     Depression can be mainly prevented by developing new ways to deal with stress. Learn how to channelize stress in a productive direction.

2.     If you are facing prolonged sadness then it is best to seek help before depression catches.

3.     One can also prevent depression by exercising and sleeping and eating well.

4.     Meditation helps in keeping the mind healthy and free of toxic thoughts hence preventing depression.

5.     This mood disorder can be prevented by reducing or stopping the intake of alcohol and drugs.

What are the types?

The different types of depression are :

1.     Major Depressive disorder – Another name for common depression and clinical depression, this type of depression is a mood disorder determined by the usual symptoms of depression.

2.     Bipolar disorder-  A type of mood disorder, bipolar disorder is also a sign and type of depression. This disorder is determined by periods of elevated mood swings.

3.     Postpartum depression – This type of depression is caused during pregnancy or after the birth of a child.

4.     Persistent depressive disorder – Also known as dysthymia, this type of disorder is characterized by a prolonged period ( more than two years) of chronic depression.

5.     Premenstrual Dysphoric disorder ( PMDD) – This type of depression is caused usually to women suffering from the Premenstrual syndrome.

 

What is the treatment of Post natal depression?

It is advisable not to struggle all alone. Once the condition is suspected she must talk to someone whom she can trust. Medical help and guidance can be reassuring that there are many others in the same situation. Depending on the nature and severity of the problem, medication by the doctor may help. Early intervention can lead to a more rapid recovery. Treatment varies according to individual needs, it may include: Counselling Antidepressant medication Hormone therapy

What are the complications?

Some complications arising from depression are :

1.     If someone has severe depression and also heart disease and cancer, then the former can seriously complicate the condition of the latter two diseases.

2.     Depression can complicate an adult’s sex life. There might be a loss in pleasure activities.

3.     The major depressive disorder can lead to a critical change in sleep patterns and make matters worse for those with insomnia.

4.     Depression may also lead to serotine syndrome – a condition where too little serotine is produce hence hampering the proper functioning of the nervous system.

5.     The most dangerous complication arising out of this mood disorder is the possibility of committing suicide. A person in depression may be extremely suicidal and even go on to commit one.

Depression is caused due to many factors and most importantly, due to the release of certain chemicals in the brain. The complete prevention of depression cannot be assured but there are some ways like:

 

1. Depression can be mainly prevented by developing new ways to deal with stress. Learn how to channelize stress in a productive direction.

2. If you are facing prolonged sadness then it is best to seek help before depression catches.

3. One can also prevent depression by exercising and sleeping and eating well.

4. Meditation helps in keeping the mind healthy and free of toxic thoughts hence preventing depression.

5. This mood disorder can be prevented by reducing or stopping the intake of alcohol and drugs.

 

What is the homecare treatment?

In addition to accepting mild depression as a normal part of childbirth, the mother needs to take special care of herself, including: Taking adequate rest. Eating a nutritious diet. Exercising in moderation. Having a social support system. Trying a nap during the day when the baby is asleep helps. Adequate rest has a major impact on her emotional and physical well being. Babies need well-rested parents to care for them. Accepting assistance from others is sometimes difficult, but she may need to do so to maintain a positive and realistic emotional perspective. Good nutrition helps the body recover from childbirth. A few small meals a day may be more manageable than three larger meals. Choosing healthy snacks, such as fruits and vegetables help in weight control. Light exercise can also be helpful, like taking a brisk walk at a pace that slightly elevates her heart rate. Stretching and flexing while playing and talking to the baby will help tone her muscles and the mood may improve as the body starts feeling better. As with pregnancy and delivery, a strong social support system is valuable. The fatigue, emotional upheaval and interruptions a new baby brings can strain even the best of relationships. After the baby's birth, the partner may feel left out since all the energy is focused on caring for the baby. Having easily handled family and work obligations in the past, she may now feel incompetent and overwhelmed with the new responsibilities. Being patient during this transition greatly helps.

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