Women have been known to become victims of depression amidst all the joys that having a baby brought to them.
According to statistics, one in every four new mothers suffers from postpartum depression which makes it very common among mothers.
Also called ‘baby blues’, the main reason behind the onset of this medical condition is the hormonal changes that take place within the body after delivery. However, the depression is said to fade away in a few days’ time.
Just in case the depression lingers on for weeks or months, medical attention is needed right away. If this problem is left untreated, it can turn into depression psychosis.
If the symptoms of postpartum depression are not treated, these can severely damage family and marital relations and cause harsh effects on the newborn baby as well.
It is said that even men suffer from this form of depression, but that is very rare. This problem occurs mainly in new mothers in the age group of 25-45.
The latest statistics that have been presented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that the occurrence of self-reported postpartum depression cases throughout the USA falls between 11.7 – 20.4%.
Throughout the U.S. an average of 12% of new mothers reported their condition to the doctors and were diagnosed with mild depression since the birth of their baby. However, 6% of women were reported as having severe depression after birth.
The factors which affect the statistics of postpartum depression are inclusive of illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, smoking habits of the mother, physical abuse poor financial conditions, etc.
Mothers who deliver low-birth-weight babies are believed to be at high risk of depression. This problem is also more frequently cited in older women, particularly black women as compared to those belonging to other races.
Postpartum Depression – When Can it happen?
First off, let’s make this perfectly clear: postpartum depression is very real. It is hard for most men to conceptualize, but it is an actual form of clinical depression which affects women both during and after childbirth.
Minimizing it by dismissing it as hysterical overreaction or “baby blues” risks a dangerous situation.
Women who are the most at risk for postpartum depression are those who fit any of the following:
They have a history of depression or substance abuse, a family history of mental illness, have little or no support from family and friends, have anxiety, have had problems with previous pregnancy or birth, have marital or financial problems, or are of a young age.
In addition, studies have shown that in the United States, African American women have a significantly greater probability of experiencing postpartum depression, even when other factors such as age, income, education, marital status, and the baby’s health were screened out.
Nobody knows exactly why, but the theory is that there is racial tension in the United States that contributes to this.
Throughout the whole world, there has also been a high correlation between a woman’s chances of experiencing postpartum depression and her social class; the women in lower social classes with fewer support resources had greater depression.
Now, as for the symptoms, any of these are signs of postpartum depression, although some of them can occur during pregnancy as well:
Sadness, hopelessness, low self-esteem, sleep and eating irregularities, rejecting comfort, low energy, feelings of emptiness or worthlessness, being easily frustrated, and social withdrawal.
It is thought that all of the symptoms and aspects tie together into concern for the well-being of the family one is creating, both for oneself and the offspring. However, there are strong chemical factors are work as well.
Hormonal changes have a strong role to play in postpartum depression, with a high risk for it if the mother also suffers from a severe case of premenstrual syndrome.
In further consideration of the hormonal factors, studies were conducted on women who had a history of postpartum depression.
Upon being treated with a hormone treatment that merely simulated pregnancy, the women began exhibiting several signs of postpartum depression, even when they weren’t actually pregnant!
This tells us that there may in fact be two different types of postpartum depression – one with a social or situational cause, and one with a biological cause.
The best means of getting rid of postpartum depression are holistic cures.
The joys of being a new mother are spoilt completely when the hormonal changes taking place within your body trigger the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Statistics show that one in every four mothers is affected by this medical condition, which sets in within the very first week after delivery.
It is quite common for these ‘baby blues’ to go away by themselves within a week’s time, however, treatment is necessary if depression lasts for more than a month.
The common treatment plan offered by doctors to relieve new mothers from the symptoms of postpartum depression includes the prescription of muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, etc.
However, it is necessary for you to note that these medicinal cures bring about side effects that would cause havoc not just for you but for the newborn baby as well.
It is not unusual for depression to set back in once you stop taking the drugs and quite honestly, they are very expensive too. Along with these medications, your doctor might also ask you to take psychiatric treatment and therapy.
Setting yourself free from postpartum depression is easily achievable through holistic and natural cures.
This approach delivers faster results and you need not worry about having a depression relapse once the treatment is discontinued.
As a new mother, you must also not try hormonal therapy as it leaves behind some of the worst side effects that you can think of. Try out holistic cures instead!
The best part about holistic cures is that instead of numbing you down as drugs do, these actually hype you up with lots of enthusiasm and energy. This makes it possible for you to work through your new responsibilities without any issues whatsoever.
This is because holistic cures utilize the most natural supplements along with regular exercises and a proper diet. See our article about What not to Eat after Giving Birth.
Come to think of it, these cures actually help you revitalize your entire system while getting rid of depression.
While taking holistic cures, make sure that you reach out to your family, friends, and particularly your spouse. Their support is surely going to help you make a speedy recovery from postpartum depression.
Partum Depression is common among mothers – Other ways of avoiding it
Here are some tips that can help prevent or ease the symptoms of postpartum depression:
Ask for help after the birth. Here are some things friends and family could do for you during the first few weeks that might work better than giving the traditional baby shower gifts. They can:
- Bring you a complete dinner (hot and ready to serve); Volunteer to do your laundry; Take care of your house cleaning; And/or entertain older children with a day of play.
- Get yourself out of the house – if only onto the deck or front steps – for at least a few minutes each day. Set up a lawn chair, wrap up yourself and your baby in a blanket, and take a break. Set aside this time for you and baby.
- Take it easy. Play with your baby. Visit with friends and family. Listen to relaxing music. Get someone to take you and your baby for a long ride in the car. Baby will probably fall right off to sleep and you’ll get a chance to shut your eyes and relax for a few moments too.
- And most importantly, eat really well and get yourself on a complete whole food nutritional program including pure omega-3 oils with EPA and DHA. I’ve seen high-quality whole food supplements, combined with wholesome eating, consistently succeed in overcoming postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is very common in women who just gave birth and believe it or not, statistics have gone on to prove that mothers who take up natural treatment methods are cured much more easily than those who take up medicinal cures.
These statistics have proved that a holistic approach to treatment, together with minor changes in diet and regular exercise can help women get cured quickly.
According to the results of research, support that a woman gets from her family, particularly her spouse has a major impact on her treatment. Women who received support from their loved ones and believed that they understood their problems were cited as getting cured more rapidly.
It was also stated that therapy sessions are not really needed when a patient takes up a holistic approach to cure her depression.
There’s one factor that can make the symptoms last longer is the temperament of the mother. If you are the ‘broody’ type then the holistic treatment would take quite some time to be effective.
As always, we must stress that this is not a doctor’s opinion. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from postpartum depression, you should seek the advice of a doctor instead of relying on a web page