It is normal for a mother who has just given birth to feel a little blue. Apart from missing your baby bump, you may feel sad, anxious, and even weepy at times. Thank goodness, these feelings will naturally go away after a week or so. But what if you’re experiencing these emotions on a more severe level?
What’s going on?
Women with postpartum depression suffer from feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and constant negativity that debilitate them. They may become negligent or disinterested in their child, feel guilty and shameful at the thought of them being an unfit mother, and in more serious cases, even have thoughts of harming the baby or themselves.
The exact cause of the illness is still unknown. However, it is imperative that postpartum depression be identified at its earliest stage. The sooner it is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment will be.
The first thing to do if you suspect you are suffering from postpartum depression is to seek help immediately. There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about! Act fast for the sake of you and your baby’s well-being.
Consult your doctor and explain to him or her about what you are feeling, the thoughts you have and how they affect your daily life. Be completely honest about how you feel towards your child and/or spouse as well, so that your doctor could have a better understanding of your condition and prescribe you the right treatment.
Support network: For spouse and family members
Mums need not go through this alone. Dads and other family members also play a large role in helping them get better.
Try to understand the best you can about mum’s condition. Read up on the literature available and when appropriate, go along with mum on her consultations so you can hear first-hand about what the illness is and how it affects mum and her daily life.
Be there for her whenever she needs to talk and help her to always focus on the positive. Encourage her to do something pleasurable each day such as taking a bath, going on long walks or even treating herself to an ice-cream.
The road to recovery
Antidepressants are generally prescribed by doctors in helping you overcome postpartum depression. Nevertheless, they may not work as effectively after a certain period of time and this may lead to a lapse in your condition. When this happens, speak to your doctor to either increase the dosage or switch to one that suits you better.
Should you not want to depend on medication, talk therapy has also proven to be an effective option.
Whatever method of treatment you decide on in the end, the most important thing is for you to be and feel at your best again. Be consistent in taking your medication and keep to your doctor’s appointments. With professional help as well as emotional support from hubby and family, you can look forward to enjoying your new born for a long time to come!