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Postpartum Depression

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Armaan Pandey 92% (219 ratings)
DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Mumbai  •  13 years experience
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Symptoms of Postpartum depression and ways to deal with it!

Hi, my name is Dr. Armaan Pandey and this talk that I'm going to have maybe very beneficial if you are a to be parent or you are a new parent. So I'm going to tell you about three aspects of postpartum mental health. Postpartum refers to post delivery, as a lot of you might know. The first thing I want to talk about is a very serious medical condition which is called as postpartum depression. So right before or after the birth of a baby a mother's body suffered through a massive hormonal changes and often these hormonal changes can result in depression. Like we see in depression too the symptoms are very very similar like loss of interest in everything, feeling sad all the time, doesn't want to take care of the babies also at time, doesn't feel like worth living, disturbance in sleep, disturbance in appetite, crying spells, suicidal thoughts and sometimes even thoughts of hurting the baby. So yes your hormones can do this to your brain. Solution is quite simple. A short course of anti-depressant therapy is very very helpful, very efficient in taking away these symptoms. The symptoms go away very quickly and it is quite safe as well.

Another aspect that one must be aware of when it comes to postpartum depression is a milder form called as postpartum blues. Here the woman experiences mood swings, often crying jags, easy irritibality, but these are very short lasting. So most of the days the woman is fine, the mother is fine but sometimes she may display these things and usually postpartum blues gets better on their own, you don't have to do much about it. But it is advisable that you go to a doctor, get yourself checked out and if it is depression then get treatment and get better. The second aspect of mental health, when it comes to mothers, usually when new mothers are concerned is that you have to be aware of something called as mother's guilt.

Now this has got more to do with how the society treats new mother's than what biology does to you. When you deliver your first baby, or even second child for that matter, you are loaded with a barage of instructions, you are supposed to do this, you are not supposed to do that. And these instructions comes from every corner of the world. Your spouse tells you something, parents tell you something else and your in-laws tell you something else, your doctors are also advising you, your neighbours, your relatives and even your maid servants at times. What do you do in that case, and sometimes the advises are contradictory. So, the mother has the burden of making small, tiny decisions for the baby. And every tiny decision she makes she feels guilty that maybe what I'm doing for my child is not right. You need to be aware of this, there is nothing like a perfect mother or a perfect parent. All you have to do is be a good enough parent, a good enough mother. You cannot make sure that your baby is 24x7 happy or comfortable. Your baby is going to cry when she is not comfortable, when she is hungry, when she has some pain and this is going to continue till she can vocalise or verbalise her feelings better. So, do not feel absolutely guilty if you are not able to soothe your baby immediately or if someone tells you otherwise. You have to make a decision, sometimes you have to be assertive with other individuals. Don't be aggressive, don't break into a fight but do not take everything passively too.

The third aspect that is important when it comes to mental health, especially for new parents is that you lose focus of your relationship at times. Because the baby is the centre of the family now, you start ignoring your relationship with your spouse, probably you are more engaged in taking care of the baby for the first two years, which is required, it is inevitable. But during this time a lot of couples experience distancing and people who have problems later on in their marital life often report that this was the turning point. So one has to be mindful. What I can advice you is like you treat your relationship with your partner as your first child, because your relatonship is something you both have created together. It requires constant nurturing, it requires constant attention from you. So if you have another child after your first child you are not going to ignore this first child because you are having another baby.

Of course you can't pay as much attention but you can't neglect it. So for your partner also take out some quality time, do certain small things for them that makes you happy and whenever you can find time do spend quality time together bonding with each other. Remember this fact that you are becoming parents because you are together so you have to take care of this relationship as well. If you are aware of these few aspects of mental health and a lot of other things as well pertaining to parenting I'm sure you are going to enjoy parenthood rather than be stressed about it.

For any further advices or consultation you can book an appointment through Lybrate.com .

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