It is sad to note that one out of seven women experience a sort of depression and there is a connection between pregnancy and depression. It can vary between slight to acute depression depending on the mental strength of a woman.
The factors that can trigger depression in a new mother are
- The stress of the birthing event
- A negative event that happened during birth
- Hormonal changes that caused chemical imbalance in the brain.
Giving birth can indeed sap a woman of her strength as she has given all her might to bring the baby outside her body. It can add to her stress if some negative events during the birth have put her safety or that of the baby in danger. One hormone that is a culprit of depression is the thyroid hormone. Medication would be needed to cure the imbalance.
When a new mother is depressed, she would most likely manifest the following symptoms. A woman might have one or two of these symptoms.
- Fear and anxiety
- Over eating or have no appetite
- Over sleeping or insomnia
- Changes in mood
- Bad tempered
- Suicidal inclinations
As to the kinds of depression a new mother could undergo, there are three kinds:
- Baby blues this is usually very common manifested by opposite emotions like being very happy or very sad that could lead to excessive crying. This is however a mild form of depression and would go away usually after two weeks.
- Postpartum psychosis is more severe than baby blues and occurs in less than 1% in women who had just given birth. Its symptoms are seeing visions, neglecting herself and the baby, disorientation and having unusual behaviors. She would have irrational thinking about the baby and she is now a danger to her child. She would need medical treatment and she should be supervised at all times so that she cannot harm the baby or herself.
- Postpartum depression is also serious but is very common among new mothers as it roughly affects one in 7 new mothers. The problem is it has no identifying symptoms as it is manifested by the same symptoms that happen to a woman after giving birth.
Now that we are familiar with pregnancy and depression, we would now be able to spot changes in our loved ones, which this event will occur.