Maternal depression is basically a mood disorder. It occurs before or just after the childbirth. Moreover, it is beneficial for people to understand the symptoms of maternal depression as it is not a very rare thing. It has been estimated that around 13 percent of women who just gave birth and every one out of 10 pregnant women experience maternal depression.
However, it is very different from baby blues and if unattended over a longer period of time, it may also affect the newborn’s health and well being. Let’s try to explore more about maternal depression and its symptoms.
Is It dangerous?
During maternal depression, the mother is often very careless about the newborn and she is less like to follow the safety measures for child. Moreover, she is not interested in establishing the baby’s routine about eating and sleeping and concentrates more on negative thoughts.
How To know?
It is very unfortunate that detecting the symptoms of maternal depression is very difficult. Basically, almost all the symptoms of maternal depression are same as pregnancy symptoms. These include fatigue, loss of sleep, loss of interest in daily activities, hopelessness, crying, problems with concentration levels and anxiety. It is advisable to visit a therapist if family members suspect a case of severe depression as it may affect the child’s health too.
How It Is Different From Baby Blues?
Every 8 out of 10 women experience baby blues and this cannot be termed as maternal depression. However, the symptoms of baby blues and maternal depression are somewhat similar but the basic difference is that baby blues will fade away after two weeks and maternal depression persists over a much longer period of time.
Does It Result To Postpartum Psychosis?
Not always, only 0.2 percent of women suffering from maternal depression can have Postpartum Psychosis which can be much more dangerous. Under such cases the mother needs immediate hospitalization and medical care before she can harm herself or the baby. The symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis are anger, restlessness, paranoia, homicidal and suicidal thoughts, delusions and hallucinations. It is advisable that family members take good care of mother and the child and be with them at all times.
What Is The Treatment?
The family has to work out very carefully on a treatment plan with the help of a counselor or therapist. The treatment requires a combination of medication, psychotherapy and stress relieving techniques. Some little changes in lifestyle can also yield good results and some experts suggest a healthy diet, meditation, exercises, music and other such stress relieving activities to better manage maternal depression.
Under no circumstances the father of newborn or family should deal with situation in anger and resentment. They should understand the woman is not doing it intentionally and she is suffering from an emotional and psychological disorder. She needs and care for herself and the baby, the family should take the responsibility of taking care of child and establish a routine for him/her.