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Postpartum Depression

Author: Jeannette Meléndez. Student in Master Degree in Clinical Social Work at Ana G Méndez University, Tampa FL.



The arrival of a baby can be like a roller coaster, an up and down of emotions; many times emotions that we cannot understand. Knowing that a baby is coming soon can trigger a wave of excitement, joy, fear, and even anxiety. All these changes can even lead to postpartum depression. After the birth of the baby, many women may experience changes in mood, sleeping problems, prolonged states of anxiety, and episodes of uncontrollable crying. Many women experience depression, in some cases longer than in other women. Depression can even occur before the birth of the baby or sometimes after delivery or up to a year later.


Currently there is no exact cause, it is only known that hormonal changes can play a very important role in each woman. Hormonal changes can vary from woman to woman, but it is known that it can affect moods. Not only hormones affect women but there are countless situations that affect women. Other causes could be:

· Change in society (roles, work, etc.) · Changes in the body due to the birth of the child. · Insomnia · Lack of time to take care of oneself. · Doubt related to the way he is raised and whether he is doing a good job.


According to the American Psychological Association, some symptoms of postpartum depression could be:

· Panic attacks.

· Feeling nervous most of the time

· Very quick thoughts.

· Feel guilty, blame yourself.

· Mood changes.

· Feeling very bad or very angry.

· Sadness.

· Cry for a long time.

· Being worried about not being a good mother.

· Being afraid of being alone with the baby.

· Having trouble falling asleep or falling asleep.

· Sleep too much.

· Not having interest in the baby, family or friends.

· Not being able to concentrate, remember things or make decisions.

· Thinking about harming yourself or the baby.

It is worth mentioning that symptoms could vary between women. If symptoms occur for more than two weeks, you should consult your doctor. It is extremely important to receive support from family, this could help you cope with depression. On many occasions, women may be unable to care for the newborn or feel afraid of being alone with the baby.


Postpartum depression is curable as long as you seek help from a professional. After seeking medical help you can do the following:

  • Ask family members for help with the purpose of carrying out baby or even household chores.

  • Talk about how you feel with your partner or family.

  • Take time to take care of yourself or go out.

  • Join a support group that gives you the space to surround yourself with people who recognize they need help and can find helpful tools.

  • Rest as much as you can. Once your baby is sleeping, take advantage of it to have a rest period as well.


On the other hand, it is important to recognize that the father can also become depressed once the baby is born. Studies indicate that new parents can also have postpartum depression. They may feel sad, tired, overwhelmed, anxious, or have changes in their usual sleeping and eating patterns. These are the same symptoms of postpartum depression that mothers with this problem present.

Remember to seek support, you are not alone. This is a stage that will soon pass. He is going through an adaptation process. Don't feel bad for needing extra help, on the contrary, identify it as a strength since you are looking for a way to solve your situation. If at any time you have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, immediately ask your partner or loved ones for help in caring for the baby. Call 911 or your local emergency assistance number for help. You can do it, you are doing a good job as a mother.


References

· CDC. (2022, May 2). La depresión durante y después del embarazo. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/features/spanish/maternal-depression/index.html

· Depresión posparto. (n.d.). Medlineplus.gov. Retrieved September 7, 2023, from https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/007215.htm

· (N.d.). Apa.org. Retrieved September 7, 2023, from https://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/depresion-postparto


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