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Having a baby can be one of the most enriching experiences in a person's life. Most often than not, it is a planned pregnancy and the birth of the child is something we look forward to for the nine months, if not more (often it is seen that a couple will be trying to conceive for a much longer time). However, more often than not, this is not only a 'happy and merry time' for most mothers.
It is an undeniable fact that throughout their pregnancy, all that they would want would be to hold on to their little angels in their arms. When after nine long months, the time does arrive, for one reason or the other, they find themselves to be not as happy as they would have wanted to be.
The reason for the same may be attributed to postpartum depression. While most mothers tend to feel guilty when they suffer from the same, the fact remains that in most cases, the new mother is not at fault at all.
In fact, it is sad to note that in the Indian context; very often women suffer from postpartum depression with even being aware of its existence. That is why, this article explores all that a new mother and her near and dear ones need to know about this form of depression.
1. It Is More Common Than You Think
Postnatal depression (or postpartum depression) affects 1 in every 3 Indian women. Thus, although you might not know about its existence, chances are that it has affected someone close to you. The reason for this may be the fact that depression is still a much-hushed-about topic in India.
2. The New Mother Does Not Feel Connected To Her Baby
Movies and magazines have often glorified the relationship that a mother shares with her newborn baby. While there is nothing wrong and many women may experience the same, the fact remains that there are women whose emotions may differ. Just because you do not connect with your baby very well on his first few days on earth, it does not mean that you will be a bad mother. If you believe that you will, this might well trigger the postpartum depression in you.
3. The Guilt Feeling
This is more commonly associated with the first-born children. In such a situation, the mother might feel that she is unable to give the best to her child. This might in turn lead to her even questioning her decision of having a baby in the first place. Since she knows that there is no going back, this pushes her to the wheel of depression that is known as postpartum depression.
4. Causes Of Postpartum Depression
While it is difficult to pinpoint one single cause to any form of depression, the fact remains that postpartum depression is caused by a sense of realization that you have lost who you used to be before having the baby. Further, doubts about your ability to be a ‘good mother' and your unrealistic views about the same will make things all the way more difficult to you. The physical tiredness and the realization that you are physically less attractive as compared to what you were earlier can make matters worse.
5. Women Who Are At A Greater Risk
It is obvious that women who had negative feelings about the pregnancy itself are more likely to suffer from this form of depression. Other than that, women who have suffered from miscarriages in the past or those who have had a history of mental illness are at a greater risk. Substance abuse and recent stressful life events also have a role to play in initiating postpartum depression, particularly in younger women.
6. Give Yourself The Time That You Deserve
Now that you have your beloved baby, chances are that he or she will soon become the center of your universe and you will end up neglecting yourself. Make sure that it does not happen. If you end up neglecting yourself, you will do your baby more harm than good. That is why, you must try to rest as much as you can. Make it a habit to sleep when the baby is sleeping. If possible, make time to go out and visit your friends or spend quality time alone with your partner.
7. Seeking Support
All of us know that pregnancy is a very challenging period of a woman's life. That is why, if you feel that you are unable to handle it alone, feel free to seek the help of your husband, family and friends. One of the best things that you can do is to talk to other mothers who have been in the same situation that you are in and learn from them on how they have tackled the same. Their experience with life will help you tide through yours.
8. Battling Postpartum Depression
It is to be noted that postpartum depression is a very serious issue and once its symptoms have been identified, it must be treated as fast as possible. There are two possible ways of treating the same. The first is by talk therapy, wherein you have to talk it out with a therapist, psychologist or social worker. The other way is by taking antidepressant tablets. However, it is advised that one must not take medications without doctor's recommendations.
9. Effect Of Postpartum Depression On The Baby
Other than the physical effects that can be seen in the baby due to the low food intake of the mother, the child may end up getting neglected in the household. This, in turn, will lead the child to be missing out on the joys of life. Thus, to ensure a happy and healthy childhood for your little one, the first and foremost thing that you must do is to ensure that you are yourself happy.
10. Support From Family
The silver lining is the fact that most women who suffer from postpartum depression do not have support from friends and immediate family. By letting women know that they are not alone in their transition to motherhood, you are making things way easier for them. Thus, in case you know someone around who has recently become a mother, make sure you extend your support to her. You will be amazed to see the effect it will have on her.