Life around asked the psychotherapist and obstetrician why depression occurs after childbirth, whether it can be prevented and what to do if it does occur.
obstetrician, founder of the Akusherstvo Club project, mother with many children
Nowadays, everyone has heard of postpartum depression (PDD). Although in reality this is not such a common occurrence: only 0.2% of young mothers are subject to severe depression. Another 80% of women in the first days after childbirth can be tearful and emotionally labile - this is the so-called “three-day sorrow”, a completely normal phenomenon. About 10% of the births are somewhere between these two groups: their spline is delayed for a longer time.
According to a study by the University of Uppsala, Sweden, a woman is most psychologically depressed on the second day after discharge from the hospital, and regardless of what day after discharge. That is why there is postpartum patronage. It is very important during this period to support a young mother: talk with her, help with breastfeeding, care and bathing, even just a hug. More often than not, this is enough to prevent the “three-day sorrow” from developing into a pass-through.
We always involve psychologists in working with a woman if we notice the following symptoms on postpartum patronage: difficulty concentrating and making decisions, loss of appetite, insomnia, sense of inferiority, estrangement from the family, and a tendency toward self-digging.
We also refer these mothers to an endocrinologist - to evaluate thyroid function, and to a therapist - to rule out anemia, which also has similar symptoms.
Dr. Sykes of Yale University found that depressive symptoms during pregnancy tend to correlate with depression that occurs during the first six weeks after giving birth. Therefore, pregnant women, whose behavior shows signs of emotional distress, should receive special support from relatives and professionals.
Professor Brue Pitt devoted many years to the study of STD and came to the conclusion: "If a man had symptoms of STD of moderate severity, he would be urgently hospitalized." But mom’s problems are rarely taken so seriously. And even if a woman decides to complain, more often than not she meets the skepticism of her husband and those around her: “Get together,” “Look what a wonderful kid you have (husband, home). Well, why invent all this nonsense?” These are the wrong words that are not able to help. Take care and attention to your loved ones, and if necessary, consult a professional.
Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression. This is a systemic change in well-being, mood and the whole psychophysiological status for the worse, occurring in the first weeks or months after childbirth. Postpartum depression serves as a signal to the body that the support system that a young mother has is insufficiently strong and cannot cope with the changes that have come. Most often, a woman in postpartum depression categorically does not want to seek help and is not aware of the problem herself. Shame, guilt that she cannot cope with her mission, distrust of herself and her feelings are just some of the items on the impressive list of feelings that prevent a young mother from taking care of herself. Therefore, to notice the symptoms, to see the suffering among the seemingly prosperous life, to take seriously the inner feelings - this is what is important for the woman herself and the people next to her.
A woman is in a high-risk group if she has the following symptoms: difficulties in feeling a deep connection with the child, tearfulness and sadness, a feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, obsessive states, a feeling of guilt and shame, a sense of self-worthlessness, thoughts like "I bad mother ", irritability, frequent mood swings, excessive preoccupation with bodily sensations, endless thoughts about the same thing, loss of appetite or, conversely, excessive desire to eat, sleep problems, panic attacks.
Postpartum depression requires serious and competent treatment. It is very difficult to pull yourself out of this state. In order to recover, you will need the help of your immediate environment and competent specialists.
The classic treatment strategy for depression is considered a combination of psychotherapy and drug treatment. According to studies, a significant improvement is achieved on average in four to five months of visiting a therapist. This is the average dynamics, that is, there are both simpler and more complex cases.
In addition, one of the first rules in treating depression is to start moving. I mean physical movement, physical education. In this state, it is difficult, but effective. Often postpartum depression is an unexpressed affect. Caesarean section, stimulated, immobilized and anesthetized childbirth, fear and restraint of a cry - all this remains in the body. Bath, swaddling, fitness and swimming pool will help to push out your feelings.
In addition, all practices are used that allow you to pay attention to your body and begin to hear better. This is an osteopath's massage, massage, Pilates, yoga, acupuncture and dietetics.
A young mother should have time for herself. Even two hours a week, which belong entirely to her and which she can spend as she wants.