How Does Postpartum Depression Affect Your Mental Wellbeing?

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Being a mother is one of the best experiences for many women because the entire process that they carry out is full of love and learning from new experiences. However, there are some women who tend to get Postpartum depression, a serious complication that can affect their mental health and even the wellbeing of the baby.

According to Mayo Clinic [1]  “most new moms experience postpartum “baby blues”, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues usually begin within the first 2 to 3 days after delivery and may last for up to two weeks. But, some moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as Postpartum depression.” Additionally, “postpartum depression is not a character flaw or a weakness. Sometimes it is simply a complication of giving birth.”

March of Dimes gives us some key points about Postpartum depression (PPD [2]):

  • Postpartum depression (PPD) is not your fault. It is a medical condition that needs treatment to get better.
  • Many women have PPD after having a baby. It is the most common problem for new moms. If you think you have PPD, tell your doctor.
  • PPD can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby.
  • If you have signs or symptoms of PPD, talk to your doctor about treatment.
  • Certain kinds of counseling can help prevent depression. If you are at risk for depression, talk to your provider about finding a counselor.

Let us look at some facts and statistics in America about Postpartum depression: Approximately 1 in 10 women will experience Postpartum depression after giving birth, with some studies reporting 1 in 7 women; it generally last 3 to 6 months, however, this varies based on several factors; it is estimated that nearly 50% of mothers with postpartum depression are not diagnosed by a health professional; 80% of women with Postpartum depression will achieve a full recovery [3] .

Additionally, there are very important facts about medical history risk factors: Women with a history of depression, anxiety disorders, or serious mood disorders are 30% to 35% more likely to develop Postpartum depression; if a pregnant woman has experienced postpartum depression with previous births, she has an increased risk (10% to 50%) of experiencing it again; it is believed that 50% of women who develop postpartum depression began experiencing symptoms during pregnancy. This proves the case of early symptom recognition, depression screening, and access to treatment options [4] .

Therefore, it is important to identify some signs on time [5] :

  1. Your “baby blues” do not get better after 2 weeks.
  2. Sadness or guilt consume your thoughts.
  3. You lose interest in things you enjoy.
  4. You have trouble making decisions.
  5. You worry you will not be a good mom.
  6. Your sleep patterns have changed.
  7. You have had big, stressful changes in your life.
  8. You think about harming yourself.

On the other hand, it is important to know if Postpartum depression affects the baby; and the answer is yes, “you have trouble bonding with your baby and do not establish a connection with them, your child may have behavior or learning problems, you may skip appointments with your child’s pediatrician, your child may have feeding and sleeping issues, your child may be at higher risk for obesity or developmental disorders, you may neglect your child’s care or not recognize when they are ill and, your baby may have impaired social skills [6] ”.

Hackensack Meridian Health recommends 4 ways to cope with Postpartum depression [7] : Therapy, digitally connect, medication, lifestyle changes to make healthy lifestyle choices, set realistic expectations, make time for yourself and meditate. Additionally, you can build a secure bond with your baby as skin-to-skin contact, baby massage, smile, etc.; take a nap and, build a support network [8] .

 For this reason, we invite you to pay attention to all the signs that may appear before your situation requires specialist support. However, remember that everything has a solution and that PPD is just a condition that, with the support of specialist like the ones that we have in Neighbors’ Consejo [9] , you will be able to enjoy your maternity.











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