Postpartum depression: Most common symptoms and how to deal with it

The case of a tragic murder perpetrated by a mother against her own children has opened an intense debate about women's mental health after childbirth. In the midst of this painful event, other women have begun to share their own emotional experiences after giving birth, revealing shocking and moving stories.

For many of these women, The topic of postpartum mental health is an underexplored and underdiscussed territory.. Many claim that during pregnancy and preparation for motherhood, they are rarely discussed. the complex emotions and psychological challenges that can arise after the birth of the baby. In their testimonies, women admit to having experienced dark thoughts, including the idea of ​​taking their own lives or harming their own children.

Some of these Women report facing postpartum depression, panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety. Others confess to having silently struggled with feelings of inadequacy and doubts about her ability to love her children. These testimonies highlight the urgent need for greater awareness and support around women's mental health after childbirth, as well as accessible and supportive resources for those facing these emotional challenges.

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On the occasion of World Health Day to commemorate the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO)an event that focuses each edition on a topic that is of interest to people on five continents, was established as a topic of discussion the Depressionwhich affects people of any age, social condition and from all countries.

This entity emphasizes that depression should not be confused with the usual variations of the mood nor with specific emotional responses to the problems of everyday life.

A very common type of depression is postpartum depression, which, according to WHO data, occurs in one in six women that give birth.

The “baby blues”

Likewise, the team of psychologists at Calma psychology center specialized in maternity and located in Madrid, explains that the differences between the so-called “baby blues” and postpartum depression lie in the duration and intensity.

“He 'baby blues' It is a painting that runs with depressive symptoms such as crying, touchiness, sadness or relatively mild mood changes. It begins in the first days after childbirth and sends spontaneously to the few days. If the symptoms become more intense and persist, then we could be talking about postpartum depression,” she details.

Likewise, Calma specialists point out that most frequent symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • Sadness
  • Apathy
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy things
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Loss or increase in appetite
  • Difficulty connecting with the baby
  • Anxiety
  • Blame
  • Irritability

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There are some women who have a higher risk of suffering Postpartum depression and in this sense, the Calma psychologists point out that there are factors that should be taken into account:

-Having suffered anxiety or depression during pregnancy or at another time in life.

-Having a bad relationship, loneliness or little social support.

-It has an influence on having had difficulties during childbirth or with the baby, for example, whether the baby is premature or was born with some problem.

-Have a history of important unresolved losses in the past, such as the death of someone very close, abortions, etc.

However, postpartum depression does not have a single cause, but is a consequence of a combination of physical and emotional factorsexposes the United States National Institute of Mental Health. In this sense, he warns that it does not happen because of something a mother does or does not do.

Multiple causes of postpartum depression

Likewise, the Calma psychologists explain that, like any psychopathological picturepostpartum depression is the result of multiple causes.

“They are complex phenomena in which a linear cause-effect relationship cannot be established, but rather biological factors, social (support network versus loneliness, idealization and unrealistically high expectations) and psychological (life history, life stressors, coping resources…) are interrelated in a complex way,” they clarify.

However, postpartum depression can be treated: “The best thing would be to be able to have a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in psychotherapy and specialized in perinatal mental health who assesses the situation individually and accompanies the woman in her postpartum process, in order to resolve the difficulties inherent to each case. ”, comment the Calma psychologists.

In addition to treatment, there are other factors that can help the woman to overcome postpartum depression.

Thus, the Calma psychologists recommend that, to the extent possible and whenever she wants, the mother should be the one to take care of the children. care of your child. “This will favor the creation of a positive bond for both mother and baby,” they say.

They also point out that if you do not have those people to help you, “you can sign up for some activity where there are mothers like her, for example, pilates or yoga for moms, breastfeeding or parenting groups, etc. This is a very powerful protective and therapeutic factor,” they specify.

Likewise, the WHO recommends maintaining contact and spend time with family and friendsas well as talking to other mothers with whom to share experiences and get outdoors when possible.

“In safe environments, taking a walk with your child is good for both of you,” he says. The WHO sends a message to women who, after giving birth, feel depressed: “If she thinks about harming herself or her baby, ask for help immediately.”

(With information from EFE)