This blog is for anyone who is a mom, has a mom, or knows a mom. The primary objective of this blog is to spread awareness about Postpartum depression. Break the epidemic of silence and allow women to feel safe sharing their true thoughts and feelings in the postpartum period. without passing judgment without labeling them as crazy and instead, guide them to the right resources available to provide hope and healing.
I am a mom of two kids, 6yrs and one and a half years old. After 10 days of delivering my baby, I felt something was not right with me. I got my doubt confirmed the very next day. It was 3.30 am in the morning, I was still awake trying to make my baby sleep but she kept crying. I was trying hard to soothe her but all in vain. suddenly I got so mad that I shouted at her “shut up will you” and I almost through her on the bed. This time she started crying even louder. I felt so guilty and miserable. I hugged her back and started crying with her.
My days used to be so exhausting, I found it difficult to make even minor decisions, I lacked the excitement to go out and meet peoples, found difficulty in sleeping even when my baby was asleep. There were certain days when even suicidal tendencies emerged. I use to cry but was scared to share it with my family because I thought I would be judged, I would be considered a bad mom. I loved my baby from the core of my heart but didn’t understand why it is happening to me. So one fine day when things went out of control, I telephoned a very close friend. Thank god I did that because through our conversation I discovered that what I m going through has a name and it’s not new and most importantly it’s very much treatable. I was suffering from postpartum depression. Most of the new mothers I am sure will recognize these situations. Lucky for me I got diagnosed and treated in time. I am a perfectly happy mom now.
A few days back I met another new mom in a garden. During our usual conversation, she told me about her PPD story and it was horrendous. Long story in short, during her PPD phase she had thoughts of killing herself and her baby. She used to hide her knives and scissors in the backyard before going to sleep in fear that at night if she again felt like killing her child or herself she has to move out of the house and in a given time maybe she would get her conscious back. She chose not to speak it up to anybody but one her husband discovered that there is something wrong with her and took her to the doctor. After treatment, she is very normal now. Listening to her story I felt how important it is for a new mom to recognize this.so I decided to write about it.
The most important thing I want a new mom going through PPD to know is
It’s NOT YOUR FAULT. IT DOESN’T SHOW THAT YOU ARE WEAK. It’s NORMAL.
Here in this blog, I’ll share certain key points of PPD,
1. What is PPD and how does it differ from baby blues.
2.Causes of PPD
4.Signs and Symptoms of PPD
What is PPD
After delivering the new baby, moms often feel sad and anxious, frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed. This condition is often termed as baby blues and the symptoms go away within a few weeks after delivery. They start feeling better.
But for some women’s it remains for a long time and with severe symptoms like severe mood swings, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks. They needed to be treated with almost an emergency.
Causes of PPD
1.Physical changes: After childbirth, there is a massive drop in hormones especially estrogen and progesterone in a women’s body. There are other hormones also that are produced by the thyroid gland that may also drop sharply due to which one feels very tired.
2. Emotional issues: Sleep deprivation, lack of confidence in your loved ones, struggle with a sense of identity, and feel that one has lost control over her life. Any of these issues can contribute to PPD.
A new mom is at higher risk if, she
1.has a history of depression
2.have bipolar disorder or manic attack
3.had PPD after a previous pregnancy
4.if depression runs in family
Signs and Symptoms
1.depressed mood most of the time
3.difficulty bonding with your baby
4.withdraw from family and friends
5.loss of appetite or eating too much
6.insomnia or too much sleep
8.reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
10.feeling of worthlessness, shame, and guilt
11.severe panic attack and anxiety
12.thoughts of death and suicide.
1.Medication: Your gynecologist can prescribe an antidepressant. They act directly on the brain. They may take a few weeks before they show any effect. some people show side effects while taking the drug which includes fatigue, decreased sex drive, and dizziness. Some antidepressants are safe while breastfeeding but few others are not. So consult your doctor for the same.
2. Psychological therapies
a) You can seek psychiatric treatment. Here one has to go through professional psychiatric treatments and counseling.
b) Talk it out- This is one of the very effective treatment. Talk to peoples you trust.
c)Join any community online where you can share and talk with women facing similar problems.
3 .Electroconvulsive therapy: For very severe cases this option opts. However, this is only suggested when all the other options have not been successful.ECT is applied under general anesthetic and with muscle relaxants. The benefits are short-lived and include side effects like headache and memory loss that is usually short term.
If you have a history of depression especially postpartum depression, tell your doctor you are planning on becoming pregnant or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.
During pregnancy: The doctor monitor for signs and symptoms of depression through the pregnancy with the help of a depression screening questionnaire.
sometimes mild depression can be cured with support groups, counseling, and therapies. In other severe cases, antidepressants may be recommended.
After delivery: After your baby is born the doctor may recommend an early postpartum checkup to screen for symptoms for postpartum depression. If one has a history of PPD then the doctor may recommend antidepressant treatment or psychotherapy immediately after delivery.
PPD makes a women hate herself inside out. They blame themselves for PPD. I just want ladies out there to understand that they are not alone, they are not to blame for, and with treatment, one will get better.
This message is vital to women’s experiencing anxiety disorders because there is so much shame, blame, and stigma surrounding maternal mental health conditions.
Speaking out on these problems can be life-giving to women who may be struggling with their mental condition completely alone, who doesn’t tell, out of fear of judgment or of the negative consequences of sharing those true thoughts running through their head.
The consequences of untreated postpartum are very bad.
we must breakdown the stigma surrounding maternal mental health conditions. Every woman who never disclosed their true thoughts after childbirth needs to know that they are not alone. It’s OK to be there.
So everyone who is a mother, who knows a mother and who one day be a mother need to be aware of this reality.
If you know a woman who has just delivered a baby seek her out. Ask her if she is sleeping well or if she’s having any thoughts she is afraid of sharing with anyone. if we do this, women will understand that its OK to be there.
If we can support each other as a community, as family members. And when community members recognize the vulnerability of women, that bringing a child into this world can create, then we can foster healthy mothers and we can support mothers in their greatest time of need.
It is time that our society pays as much attention as the adorable baby, she was responsible for bringing into this world.
Thank you so much for reading it all. I would appreciate if mothers reading this blog share their own story or someones whom they know. As I said sharing is vital and lifesaving for someone. Please share love and information with women in need.