Why do I feel this way? I just gave birth to a baby that I longed for. I should be happy and proud but I feel so alone, uneasy and even angry. Am I a bad mother?
To a woman who has just given birth, you might be experiencing the undesirable feeling described above. If yes, you are not alone.
More and more women are experiencing this but what is this so-called “Postpartum depression” illness and what causes this? Can this be treated? How can you help someone who is going through Postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes. According to studies, 1 out of 10 experience this illness. This could be felt at the onset of giving birth, months after giving birth or even a miscarriage. Symptoms include unexplained sadness, anxiety, extreme tiredness, and moodiness. This is considered normal and temporary as it usually only lasts for 10 days without the need for treatment.
There is no concrete explanation on what the cause of postpartum depression is. Studies suggest that one of the factors is the physical and emotional condition of the mother. During the first 24-48 hours, the estrogen and progesterone level of the woman drops, even lower than the early pregnancy stage which causes the sudden change in the psychological condition. This is the reason why this is also called “biochemical and hormonal illness”.
Lack of sleep, tiredness, and the environment are other factors being considered. During childbirth, the weight of responsibilities they have to fulfill can sometimes be overwhelming. The expectations of society can also put pressure on women. The world somehow dictates that the mother should automatically feel attached to their newborn and if they don’t feel that way, they start questioning themselves. They also worry with how their look has changed and lack of support they’re getting.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Since it is considered that lack of sleep and rest is one of the causes of this illness, others can help by taking some of the responsibilities such as household chores or taking care of the baby to give them time to recoup sleep. In most cases, one can help by just lending their ears and encouraging the woman who just gave birth. Remember that Postpartum depression is an illness and isn’t something that can be controlled.
Suggestions to overcome Postpartum depression:
- Open up about your feelings to your husband, parents or to other mothers.
- Ask for help in terms of taking care of the baby and doing household chores.
- Allot some time for yourself. Read a book, put some makeup on or take a walk.
- Do not dwell into the feeling of loneliness. When you start feeling down, acknowledge that what you’re going through is normal and would go away on its own.