New Delhi: Nothing else on Earth can compare the joy of having a baby for parents. But the birth of a child can adversely affect a mother's mental health with most women experiencing major mood shifts after childbirth - ranging from brief, mild baby blues to the longer-lasting and deeper clinical depression known as postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is very common after childbirth than many people may realize.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression affects 1 in 6 women who have given birth.
Symptoms of depression after childbirth may include - a feeling of being overwhelmed, persistent crying for no apparent reason, lack of bonding with your baby, and doubt about being able to care for yourself and your baby. But, it can be treated with professional help.
Without treatment, depression following childbirth can last for months or even years and can affect your health and the development of your baby.
If you think that your newborn is not making you happy, here are some things you can do to help yourself:
- Accept help from family members in the first days after labor and delivery.
- Get plenty of rest - being sleep deprived or exhausted can fuel feelings of sadness and depression.
- Eat nutritious foods.
- Get out in the open air when you can. In safe environments, taking your baby for a walk is good for both of you.
- Talk to people close to you or other mothers who may be able to help you and make you feel supported while reminding you that you're not alone.
- Avoid dwelling on sad thoughts.
- Talk to your health-care provider - he or she can help you find the treatment that is most appropriate to your situation.
- If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, seek help immediately.
If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, don't hesitate to seek help.