Postpartum depression is a reality and it can affect mothers in many different ways depending on their personal circumstances. Depression seems invisible because perhaps the person who suffers from it is physically healthy, but emotionally it begins to decline more every day.
Postpartum depression can be caused by a multitude of factors, from the whirlwind of hormones to sleepless nights to postpartum or post-caesarean section pain. Recovering from childbirth is not always easy, and if all that together, postpartum depression can be tremendously difficult.
Having a baby is stressful: lack of sleep, new responsibilities, lack of time to yourself … all of this puts women on an emotional roller coaster. Postpartum depression is normal and very common among women. But if the symptoms don’t go away after a few weeks or they get worse, then it may be that the depression is also getting worse and you need to get yourself afloat in order to have a happy motherhood.
RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS
If you know someone who you think may be experiencing postpartum depression, the first thing you should do to help them is recognize the symptoms. When a woman is a mother she can feel an emotional roller coaster from the whirlwind of hormones, but postpartum depression is a more serious problem and should not be ignored or looked the other way.
At first, postpartum depression can be seen as a normal sadness due to lack of time or fatigue, something that can make you confuse and think that perhaps what the new mother is going through is something normal. Mood swings, crying spells , sadness, insomnia, and irritability can be normal.
The difference is that with postpartum depression the symptoms are more serious than sadness and there may even be suicidal thoughts or thinking that you are not able to take care of your newborn baby. This can take a long time. There are also some symptoms that cannot be ignored:
– You do not feel like going out, eating or talking to anyone.
– He does not communicate with his partner , nor does he get too close to the baby.
– You have trouble controlling anxiety.
– You have difficulty sleeping properly even though you are tired and sleepy (or you spend the day sleeping without thinking about the responsibilities you have to face each day).
– You have feelings of guilt or worthlessness and even think that you do not deserve to be alive.
All of these signs are unequivocal that a woman is entering severe postpartum depression and urgently needs help even if she doesn’t ask for it or reject it at first (because she would think she is not worthy of it).
HOW TO TREAT A WOMAN WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
The first thing you should do is go slowly since the feeling of sadness can make the new mother not want to have social contacts or not open up emotionally. But when she sees that you care for her and that you are by her side for whatever she needs, then she will most likely hold your hand. There are some things you can do for her to alleviate postpartum symptoms and above all, keep them from getting worse.
Humans are social, and positive social contact relieves stress faster and more effectively than any other means of stress reduction. From an evolutionary perspective, new mothers have always received help from those closest to them so that they could take care of themselves and take care of babies.
In today’s world, new mothers often find themselves alone, exhausted, and out of contact with other supportive adults. That is why it is necessary that if you care about the new mother and love her, you can treat her as she deserves (and needs).
Sleep with the baby some night so she can sleep
If she does not have a partner and is alone before motherhood, you can help her out and offer yourself a few nights so she can rest a full night’s sleep. This will help you repair yourself emotionally and physically. If she is breastfeeding she can express her milk with a breast pump and you can give her the bottle with her milk at night. It is a way for you to rest and feel better.
Let me explain how it feels
Do not judge her, do not give her advice that she has not asked for … just listen to how she feels and allow her to vent her feelings so that she feels better about herself and that she knows that you are by her side for whatever is necessary in everything moment.
He will be able to share with you all the sensations he is experiencing, the good, the bad and the less bad. You need to be that person willing to listen without judgment, offering support and comfort whenever needed.
Offer to be your kangaroo
You can tell her that one afternoon a week you volunteer to be her babysitter and that she can dedicate to herself. For him to bathe quietly, to read, to exercise, or even if he wants to meditate. It is a way for you to know that you will have time to disconnect and that your baby will be well cared for.
In addition, you can also offer yourself a night in the care of your baby so that you can have time as a couple. This way you can go out to dinner with your partner and that they can reconnect emotionally, something very important for a couple to get closer in an intimate way and that in this way, they can be better parents.
Invite her out
It may be that you go for a walk with the baby to the park or go out for coffee. But this will help you feel better when you are most depressed and vulnerable. It is important to keep in touch with friends and family, even if you say you prefer to be alone.
Isolating yourself will only aggravate the problem and it will feel much darker, so you should try to make him realize that relationships with other adults are really important at this time.