Postpartum depression is quite common in Nigeria. However, it is one of the problems that are overlooked. After childbirth, all attention is on the baby and sometimes, everyone including the new mom overlooks her own wellbeing.
Postpartum depression is common. As many as 50 to 75 percents of new mothers experience the “baby blues” after delivery. Up to 15 percent of these women will develop more severe and longer-lasting depression, called postpartum depression, after delivery. One in 1,000 women develop a more serious condition called postpartum psychosis.
WHAT CHEMICAL CHANGES HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY?
1. Once you get pregnant, your body produces Progesterone and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) that stops your menstrual cycle and starts the conception process.
2. As pregnancy advances, the body produces high levels of Progesterone and Estrogen. These two hormones produce neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which makes you feel good.
3. After childbirth, there will be a decrease in these hormones and replaced with Prolactin and Oxytocin. This shift of hormones causes a new mom to have unexplainable mood swings and other symptoms of baby blues (which is the feeling of sadness or moodiness that women experience after giving birth).
HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
With the overwhelming schedules and lack of sleep and the need to be the best mom to your new baby, it is easy to lose track of your own health as a new mom.
See the table below to know the difference between baby blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis and when to seek help.
It is important to make your health a top priority because it is so easy to spiral out of control. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take the first steps by taking time off and spend some time alone. You can spend that time doing nothing, sleeping, pampering yourself, or just doing things you enjoy.
You cannot take care of the people you love especially your new baby if you are not healthy. Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness or a sign that you have failed as a mother. It means that you are brave enough to protect yourself and baby from behaviors that could cause harm to both of you.
Use the CONSULT A DOCTOR PLATFORM if you or someone you know needs discrete help dealing with Postpartum Depression or Psychosis.
The journey through pregnancy and childbirth is quite a rollercoaster of emotions joy, anxiety, excitement, fear, etc. However, that love you feel when you finally get to hold your baby/ babies and watch them grow is the best thing ever.
I am cheering you on, you are an awesome mother and your child/ children is lucky to have you.
Love and Light