Spring is coming, a new beginning. A time of birth and reborn. A time of pleasure, but also a time of attention to other forces.

Women have the unique quality of carrying and nurturing new hopes and dreams for mankind. This is a time of hope and boundless joy for all. However, these expectations may change or be experienced only briefly. The postpartum period can be affected by some mental problems. These include: “baby blues,” postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis.

During the postpartum period, up to 85% of women experience some form of mood disturbance. 10-15% of these women experienced a more disabling and persistent form of mood disturbance called postpartum depression or even psychosis.

The mildest postpartum dysfunction is the so-called “baby blues”. These typically include a week-long period of emotional instability, accompanied by high levels of irritability, anxiety, and tearing. Symptoms tend to peak around day 4 or 5 postpartum and gradually resolve. This usually does not interfere with child care, maternal relationships, or harm to the newborn.

More serious is postpartum depression. This occurs in 10-15% of the general population.

The main phenomenological symptoms of this condition include: Depressed mood, manifested by: Hopelessness, lack of interest or joy – especially in areas related to daily parenting activities; Emptiness, high levels of anxiety, which may include concerns about the health and well-being of the baby Compulsive worry.

A past history of depression, genetic predisposition to depression, previous postpartum problems, or those who experienced depression during pregnancy represented those at highest risk.

The most worrisome risk is that the mother loses any interest in routine childcare activities, which may develop into negative emotions toward the newborn. If this continues, it may develop into negative or intrusive thoughts and fears of hurting herself, her children, or both. These are often more fascinating than the urge to actually cause real harm.

Other negative and qualitative changes may occur, namely increased or decreased sleep and energy, unjustified worthlessness and guilt, ups and downs in appetite, marked loss of concentration and restlessness.

Another major area of ​​postpartum concern is less common, but more serious – postpartum psychosis. Most cases occur within 2 weeks and 3 months postpartum, although some studies suggest this can occur within a year of delivery. The disorder has the potential for many psychotic symptoms, namely hallucinations in any of the sense organs, delusional false beliefs or illogical thoughts, sleep and appetite disturbances, agitation or anxiety to very high levels, episodic mania or delirium, suicide or homicidal thoughts or actions.

Women at greatest risk were those with a history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, other mental disorders, or with another child.

Women with occasional postpartum psychosis, like other forms of psychosis, are not always the first to notice it, or may be unable or unwilling to communicate their experiences or fears. Need for help may need to be communicated through support – i.e. family, friends or professionals. This assistance must be provided by a trained professional.

what should I do?

Q: What are the causes of postpartum depression?

A sort of. Like other forms of depression, there is no single cause, but a combination of factors. These include genetic family history, structural and chemical changes in brain function that lead to endocrine (hormonal) and immunological changes. Estrogen and progesterone increase significantly during pregnancy and then decrease significantly over approximately 24 hours. postpartum. a clear depressive factor. Thyroid hormones also follow this pattern. Life events experienced as stressors combine to cause symptoms and illness.

Q. What about the requirements of being a mother?

A sort of. These can obviously contribute. For example: postpartum physical fatigue from labor itself and disrupted sleep or deprivation of caring for a newborn; stressors about being a “good mother,” losing someone or something you’ve done or considered yourself, feeling less attractive, lacking Free time, just overwhelmed by all the challenges of one or more newborns. Women who were depressed during pregnancy had a much greater risk of developing depression after giving birth.

Q: Is it okay to wait for it to pass and let it pass?

A sort of. of course not. Postpartum depression and psychosis are definitely very serious mental illnesses that require psychiatric treatment as soon as possible. Some women feel embarrassed or ashamed when they should be happy. How would they be considered inappropriate parents? Rejection may occur.

Q: What happens if women don’t seek treatment?

A sort of. There is no benefit to either the mother or the child, i.e. low birth weight or premature birth, restlessness on both sides, poor sleep on both sides, missed antenatal and postnatal care, substance abuse, poor mother-child relationship, simply not being able to meet the needs of your child. In psychosis, suicide/homicide risk may occur.

Treatment for these problems can be provided by competent, experienced physicians. Medications are often helpful and necessary. If these are required during pregnancy, the significant risks and benefits are assessed and weighed. Several psychotherapy modalities and support groups are also helpful. In rare cases, hospitalization may be required. These interventions could potentially save the lives of mothers and children.

All children deserve the benefit of a healthy, caring mother. All mothers should have access to a rewarding pregnancy, childbirth and maternal experience. These diseases can insidiously disenfranchise mothers and children and cause serious harm. Seek trained psychiatric care immediately if there are problematic concerns, symptoms, or concerned observations. Don’t struggle alone in fear, shame, or silence.

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