Knowing Postpartum Depression and How to Prevent It

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Knowing Postpartum Depression and How to Prevent It
Knowing Postpartum Depression and How to Prevent It

Postpartum depression is a condition that quite a lot of women experience after giving birth. It is estimated that about 10-15% of women experience this condition. However, many women who have just given birth do not realize that they are experiencing depression

Postpartum depression usually occurs in the first 6 weeks after giving birth. This type of depression is often confused with the baby blues, but they are two different conditions.

Know Postpartum Depression and How to Prevent It - Alodokter

Baby blues generally subside within days or weeks, whereas postpartum depression can last from a few weeks to a few months after delivery.

If not treated properly, postpartum depression can harm both the mother and the newborn.

Various Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Many women often ignore feelings of sadness or emotion after giving birth because they are worried that they will look unhappy after becoming a mother.

In fact, negative emotions or feelings that often appear and don't get better after giving birth can be caused by postpartum depression.

The following are some postpartum depression symptoms to watch out for:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness or lack of enthusiasm
  • Difficulty or reluctance to care for and interact with babies
  • Keeps feeling sad for no apparent reason
  • Less to take care of themselves, for example, don't want to take a shower or eat for days
  • Loss of interest in things you used to like
  • Continuously worrying and thinking that something is wrong with the baby
  • Easy to feel restless and offended
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • There are feelings of guilt and do not deserve to be a mother
  • Thoughts arise about hurting yourself or even committing suicide

These symptoms can progress to seriousness, making it difficult for the sufferer to relate to others, unable to care for the baby, and reluctant to travel. In some cases, women experiencing postpartum depression even think about hurting their baby.

Therefore, recognizing the symptoms of postpartum depression is not only important for mothers-to-be, but also for their partners, so that this condition can be quickly detected and treated immediately.

Causes and Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression

The exact cause of postpartum depression is not known. However, this condition is thought to be caused by a combination of various factors, including:

hormonal changes

The levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the body will decrease drastically in women after giving birth. Decreased levels of these two hormones cause women to be more sensitive, prone to mood swings, and emotionally unstable conditions.

Psychological problems

As a mother, women certainly have new demands and responsibilities to take care of and care for babies. This can be stressful and lead to stress, especially if you don't have enough support from your partner and loved ones during delivery and baby care.

In addition, women who have previously experienced psychological disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders, are also at higher risk for postpartum depression.

Social problems

In addition to psychological problems, social problems can also be a factor in the occurrence of postpartum depression. Experiencing stressful events, such as financial problems, conflicts with family members, or the death of a loved one, can make women more susceptible to depression.

In addition to the things above, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of postpartum depression, including:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • Weak postnatal physical condition
  • Difficulty in taking care of the baby
  • Baby has he alth problems, for example born prematurely
  • Postpartum he alth problems, such as pain from stitches or trouble urinating
  • Going through a difficult labor process

Although not dominant, genetic factors are thought to also play a role in causing postpartum depression. In addition, women who have family members with a history of depression are also more at risk of developing this depression.

How to Deal with Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression will be easier to cure if detected early and get treatment right away. The following are some measures to treat postpartum depression:

1. Psychotherapy

One of the main treatment steps for postpartum depression is counseling and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Through this therapy, women who experience postpartum depression will be directed to find ways to deal with problems and feelings of sadness that arise, and face situations with more positive thoughts.

2. Administration of drugs

Besides psychotherapy, doctors can also prescribe medications, such as antidepressants, to treat symptoms of depression. However, the use of drugs to treat depression must be under the supervision of a doctor, because the side effects can interfere with breast milk production.

3. Tell the closest person

Telling your partner, family member, or friend about how you feel can also relieve stress and make you feel more relieved.

The support of those closest to you can be a very helpful factor in dealing with postpartum depression.

4. Regular exercise

Perhaps you feel reluctant to exercise because you are already tired of taking care of the baby. However, regular exercise can treat mild depression and make you feel better. In fact, there are several exercise options with your baby that you can do

You can start by doing light exercise, such as walking around the house, yoga, or pilates. However, before doing so, talk to your doctor first to find out what kind of exercise is right for your condition.

In addition to the ways above, you can also relieve stress by taking time for yourself. Do what you enjoy and get as much rest as possible. In addition, try to keep meeting nutritional needs by running a he althy diet.

How to Prevent Postpartum Depression

The most effective way to prevent postpartum depression is to adopt a he althy lifestyle. In addition, there are several ways that can be done to reduce the risk of developing postpartum depression, including:

  • Take care of yourself and try to reduce stress during pregnancy
  • Receiving help from spouse or people closest to you
  • Notify the doctor as soon as possible if you have a history or are experiencing psychological problems

If you are at high risk for postpartum depression, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants immediately after delivery to prevent symptoms from developing.

Keep in mind that postpartum depression can happen to anyone and can be caused by various things that are often not realized. Therefore, don't blame yourself if you experience this condition.

In addition, don't hesitate to immediately consult a psychiatrist if you start to feel symptoms of postpartum depression. A psychiatrist will help you and provide appropriate treatment to deal with this condition.

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