Postnatal Depression: Symptoms and Causes.

12.12.2018
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Postnatal Depression: Symptoms and Causes.

You are pregnant and want to relax with bringing your baby in a healthy way after nine months of both emotional and physical exhaustion. You may wait patiently for that moment of “relaxation”. However, some of the mothers may not be able to handle these days of motherhood, and they may be unhappy and are affected by the smallest thing after birth. As you guess, this condition is called postnatal depression. This text explains postnatal depression with symptoms and causes and defines postpartum psychosis briefly.

The Postpartum period is divided into three phases:

  1. Initial Phase: It occurs in the first 24 hours after childbirth
  2. Subacute Postpartum period: It occurs in the first week after childbirth
  3. Delayed Postpartum period: It lasts up to six months

During the puerperium, the reproductive organ turns into normal in 1.5 months, most of the non-lactating mothers’ menstrual bleeding will start. It may take up to 6 months for lactating mothers. The first noticeable change after birth is that the uterus turns into the same as it used to be before.

Symptoms:

  • This is more different and heavier process than short-term motherhood sadness. It is seen in five or ten percent of women who give birth.
  • It may occur during the first six months after birth.
  • These following things may be observed: sleep disruption (sleeping less or too much), change of appetite, feeling unhappiness and exhaustion, stress in the care of the baby or herself, irritability, intolerance, and anxiety.
  • The patient should be evaluated by a specialist who will determine that the depression is different from the maternity sadness, then her treatment should be started. If it is not treated, it may make her life difficult

Causes:

  • Depression before previous birth
  • Difficult pregnancy process
  • Difficult and long-term birth
  • Problems in marriage
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Pregnancy resulting in loss
  • Insufficiency of social support
  • Mother-baby separation
  • Socio-economic problems
  • Prenatal psychological problems
  • Physical and biological rapid changes in the postpartum period and changes in social life are among the factors causing depression.

What is Postpartum Psychosis?

It is a serious condition, although it is not seen very often. It can also be noticed in the first days after birth. Mothers cannot realize the truth because of this disorder. The mother thinks that the baby is not herself, worries about the baby’s health or is afraid that the baby will be harmed.  In this way, she becomes unable to take care of herself and the baby. Mothers sometimes may see hallucinations, retreat into their shell or she cannot manage her fluctuating emotions. It disrupts mothers’ sleep cycles and eating habits, as well.

The tendency of the mother to harm the baby or herself may also be seen. In this case, relatives of the family look after the baby. The mother enters a mental health treatment facility, and her treatment starts immediately. Although changes in the behavior of the mother are observed after the initiation of treatment, the treatment is continued, and it takes a long time to recover.

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