Let’s Get Real About Pregnancy: Exploring Postpartum Depression
Have you spoken to your mom about postpartum depression? Find out what causes it and how to help.
(Get Real About Pregnancy is FIT’s new series where we get the lowdown on the real, honest truth about being pregnant, motherhood, pressures and more.)
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Video Producer: Devina Buckshee
How do you see your mom? As the best mom in the world, right? Someone who can do everything and does it all so well?
Motherhood is so often glorified and mom’s internal the societal pressure to be the best at everything. They’re always taking care of you, always know what you need and always there for you.
But who’s there for them?
“I have never seen a new mom who hasn't been overwhelmed,” says Dr Munjaal Kapadia, Gynecologist, Namaha Hospital.
Enter postpartum mental health issues. “Most mothers do experience some sort of mental health issues. In fact, pregnancy and mental health is not talked about, but we want to change that,” says Dr Munjaal.
FIT looks beyond the rosy picture and explores the lesser talked about side of motherhood: the low moods, the cramps, the anger, the added pressure, the changing body and the mental health issues.
The Lowdown on Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression falls under the larger umbrella of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Dr Munjaal breaks it down. “Postpartum depression is a spectrum of conditions which encompass:
- POSTPARTUM BLUES
- POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
- POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS
Postpartum blues and depression indicate the severity of the depression.
It works like normal depression, except it is triggered by the birth of your child.
POSTPARTUM BLUES start within 2-3 or a week of giving birth and can last for a couple of weeks.”
The most common symptoms would be
- MOOD SWINGS
- WEEPY EPISODES
- BEING UNABLE TO SLEEP
- FEELING LIKE YOU ARE NOT A COMPETENT MOTHER
- HAVING TROUBLE FEEDING
- HAVING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR CHILD
When it lasts beyond a certain point, and things become more troublesome,
- FEELINGS OF SELF-HARM
- THOUGHTS OF HARMING YOUR BABY
- CONSTANT CRYING
- FITS IF ANGER
- HURTING YOUR PARTNER
"This gets classified as postpartum depression,” adds Dr Munjaal.
The other end of the spectrum is postpartum psychosis, which is a much more severe form of the illness
- PLUS THE OTHER SYMPTOMS
What triggers it? “Usually the dip in hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone post-delivery that seems to trigger it. Why it happens to some women and not others is not perfectly understood,” says Dr Munjaal.
“One is if she has a history of depression earlier.The other thing is women who have a family history of depression even though they aren’t diagnosed - the stresses of postpartumcan trigger depression.Another factor? The pressure women are made to feel and that they internalise.”Dr Munjaal Kapadia, Gynecologist, Namaha Hospital.
How to Help the New Mom?
“Women who have supportive families and great support systems have a lesser incidence of postpartum depression.”Dr Munjaal Kapadia, Gynecologist, Namaha Hospital.
Dr Munjaal adds, “The family should also be educated about the symptoms of postpartum depression and that occurs in the hospital itself. The husband or the partner should be very, very sensitive.”
There is no stigma attached to this anymore, and Dr Munjaal says if you feel the symptoms come on, or if you notice them in a new mom, seek help.
(Subscribe to FIT on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter Now.