It’s Real! : Postpartum Depression – Caring for Depressed Mothers.

Child rearing is a complicated job, especially for most new Mamas. Mamas, we hope you are being kind to yourselves. Here’s a reminder; adjusting to a new routine is indeed hard – but, it is possible. A new baby in your life can trigger a lot of emotions, be it happiness, anxiety, and at times (unexpectedly); depression.

Things are made worse when society has a stigma that depressed mothers are just being weak & there’s no such thing as ‘Postpartum Depression’. Well, let us tell you, postpartum depression is VERY VERY REAL – so instead of judging depressed mothers, how about we help care for them instead?

Let’s continue reading to learn more about Postpartum Depression & educate ourselves on how to care for depressed mothers 🙂

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Women who suffer from postpartum depression are persistently depressed for more than two weeks. Typical symptoms, which are present for at least two weeks, most of the time include:

  1. Feelings of sadness or low mood ; feeling “down”
  2. Loss of interest and/or pleasure in usual activities
  3. Difficulty concentrating
  4. General fatigue and loss of energy
  5. Difficulty sleeping or an increased need for sleep
  6. Significant weight or appetite loss or gain
  7. Excessive or inappropriate guilt
  8. Feelings of worthlessness
  9. Feelings of hopelessness
  10. Recurring thoughts about death or suicide
  11. Significant difficulty in the ability to care for oneself
  12. Significant difficulty in the ability to care for the newborn
  13. Significant difficulty coping with family relationships

Causes of postpartum depression

  1. Levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease sharply in the hours after childbirth.
  2. Women who have had depression at any time—before, during, or after pregnancy—or who currently are being treated for depression.
  3. If the pregnancy is not planned or is not wanted, this can affect the way a woman feels about her pregnancy and her fetus.
  4. Many women feel very tired after giving birth. It can take weeks for a woman to regain her normal strength and energy. For women who have had their babies by cesarean birth, it may take even longer.
  5. Lack of support from others and stressful  life  events, such as a recent death of a loved one, etc. 

How to treat postpartum depression

  1. Vitamins and amino acids contained in food have an important impact on people’s mental health. 
  2. Pay attention to maintain adequate sleep, ensure that the brain has sufficient rest , and make full use of the time to rest when the child is asleep.
  3. Husband and wife must understand each other.  Due to the physical changes of the wife after childbirth and the hard work of taking care of the children, the husband should take the initiative to share the housework.

How to prevent postpartum depression:

Maternal lifestyle adjustment You need to spend time and patience, receive training on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and baby-rearing knowledge, reduce the tension and fear of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing.

  1. Maintain good health habits, nutritious diet, exercise moderately, take children to outdoor activities, take a walk, breathe fresh air, and feel the warm sunshine;
  2. Pay attention to sharing your feelings with others. This can ease your emotions, and you can learn new coping methods and experiences.

Maternal psychological adjustment

  1. Cultivate self-confidence, optimism, positive, and healthy personality to overcome difficulties, and minimize the adverse effects of stress. 
  2. You must be mentally prepared and pay attention to overcoming the sense of loss, such as the temporary loss of freedom and entertainment. 

Spouse and family support

  1. Spouses and family members should understand and learn about maternal care  and infant care, and be more understanding, caring and supportive.
  2. Create a quiet, leisure and healthy rest and recuperation environment and atmosphere for the mother.
  3. Share the household and child care responsibilities with partner or get help from the entire family. 

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