Postpartum depression: when is it time to “sound the alarm”?

The birth of a child in the family brings a lot of joy and happiness. However, apart from the positive aspects, this event can lead to chronic fatigue, feeling unwell, stress, and even depression. Most often, everything a woman who recently became a mother observes from TV screens and glossy magazines is a happy motherhood and tips on what she can do for the well-being and health of a baby.

The downside of the postpartum period in a woman’s life is when she comes to her   depression   – not always amenable to publicity. In this article, you can get information about how mothers distinguish emotional fatigue from depressive manifestations of the psyche. What is the role of people around to help a woman who became a mother? How can she take care of herself at a time when all her resources and thoughts are focused on one thing – to raise a child and take care of his well-being?

Mother’s psyche after childbirth

It is no secret that the self-perception and consciousness of a woman undergo changes after she became a mother. How is it shown?

  • The frequent appearance of anxiety. With the advent of the baby, the mother may feel that she became anxious much more often than before. Anxiety appears in her every time something happens to a child – he screams or cries, he is worried about various pains, illnesses. Anxiety affects the psyche of a woman by the fact that obsessive thoughts intensify in her, she is less happy with each day, feels tired or irritable.
  • Criticism and condemnation of oneself. A young mother, being engaged in upbringing, can often begin to scold herself when, in her opinion, she cannot cope with her mother’s duties, makes mistakes and does not match the image of the ideal mother in her head. This leads to frustration in one’s own strengths and personalities, and undermines self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Another perception of self, people and relationships. A young mother may be faced with the fact that her opinion about herself and those around her is changing. Maternity contributes to the fact that it becomes more sensitive, cautious, picky.
  • Feeling of depression and anxiety due to acute lack of time. Maternity leads to the fact that all free hours of the woman are devoted to the child, and she no longer has the opportunity to spend time on herself, as she did before. Many areas of her life can suffer from this — her career, communication with friends, intimate relationships and hobbies, and care for herself and her appearance.

Against the background of the fact that the psyche of a young mother is undergoing strong changes, she can begin to feel chronic fatigue, which can and should be fought to protect herself and create good conditions for the baby to develop. However, before doing this, one should learn to distinguish between a state of emotional overload and depression, which requires the skilled assistance of a specialist.

Fatigue or depression?

If a woman listens to herself and understands what happens to her after she became a mother, then there is an opportunity to more accurately distinguish moral exhaustion from depressive manifestations.

What does mother weariness say?

  • feeling of lack of strength to take care of yourself and the child;
  • trouble falling asleep and sleeping;
  • increased fatigue;
  • feeling tired all over the body immediately after waking up;
  • decrease in working capacity;
  • physical weakness;
  • bad mood, fatigue;
  • delayed psychomotor reactions – sluggishness, problems with attentiveness, concentration, memory.

According to the results of statistical data, about 20% of women suffer not just chronic fatigue against the background of motherhood, but experience the real depression.

About its signs say:

  • complete lack of strength to take care of the child, unwillingness to approach him;
  • refusal to communicate with other people;
  • loss of appetite and sleep;
  • pathological guilt;
  • flashes of irritability and neurotic manifestations leading to tantrums;
  • mood swings from cheerful excitement to dark, depressive thoughts and immobility;
  • uncontrollable and unreasonable angry reactions to people around them or a child;
  • suicidal thoughts or attempts;
  • panic attacks.

How to help a young mother?

After childbirth, a woman needs to be attentive to herself, not only from the people around her, but also she should have the opportunity to take care of herself independently. Such conditions can be easily created if close people – husband, parents, friends – take on some of the responsibilities of caring for the child, “unloading”, thereby, the young mother.

In addition, a woman needs emotional support – close and emotional conversations that she had in her life before the appearance of the baby, praise and compliments, easy communication, fun.

In order for the mother to feel good and to accumulate strength for the upbringing and care of the child, first she needs to “feed herself” with useful resources. She can do this if she takes care of her health, looks after her appearance, pleases and pampers her body and soul. Massage baths, a visit to a beautician and a hairdresser, good and   healthy nutrition, an active lifestyle and sports, yoga and meditation, personal development for the soul – if the young mother has it all, then she will not be tired or easily retreat.

Well, if in the life of a woman remain the same habits that accompanied her before she became a mother.

What if depression is confirmed?

When relatives notice that the woman’s psyche is unstable and has developed depression, then in no case should you:

  • advise her to be distracted, calm down, stroll, relax;
  • it is impossible to force the mother to ignore the heavy feelings that were born in her soul, for example, to talk about her not paying attention to her fatigue, poor health, obsessive thoughts, fears and anxiety.

How to take care of a woman in the maximum way:

  • create her full-fledged conditions for good nutrition and recreation;
  • take care that she has everything she needs – a good sleep, communication, joyful emotions;
  • get expert advice – how to help a young mother if she is depressed;
  • encourage a woman to seek help from a psychologist.

It should be remembered that a qualified psychologist or psychotherapist can provide expert help to a depressed woman. Well, if close people morally support a woman in this difficult period for her and while she is recovering physical strength and mental balance, they will take a part of the responsibility to care for the child.

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