Causes and Solution to Depression during and after pregnancy
When a woman decides for herself that she will be a mother, changes gradually begin in the body both at the physiological and psycho-emotional levels. There is an adaptation to new sensations, roles, status. Their acceptance by a pregnant woman and her reaction to changes will depend on many factors: age, social, religious, personal characteristics and life experience.
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Does prenatal depression really happen, and why does it occur?
Yes, this really happens. The first pregnancy is exciting in itself. I want everything to be not only correct, but completely perfect. However, the flow of information or someone else’s experience, which is often negative, causes a defensive reaction – anxiety, which in turn forms uncertainty in one’s thoughts and actions.
There is such a natural fear as the instinct of self-preservation, and not a single desired pregnancy was complete without fear for yourself and for the child – this is natural!
Each stage of pregnancy has its own challenges and challenges. And how sensibly the state and feelings will be accepted depends largely on the woman herself.
- The first trimester is the awareness and acceptance of the very fact of future parenthood. There is a reassessment and a change in lifestyle, habits, regimen, taste preferences. The body is rebuilt, new functions appear that were not previously known. Symptoms of toxicosis, irritability and drowsiness are frequent companions of the first period. Here it is important to learn to listen to your body and satisfy the need for rest.
- In the second trimester, there are noticeable changes in the body. Feel the movements of the child. From that moment on, attachment is formed, acceptance of another life inside your body.
- The third trimester is preparation for childbirth. As practice shows, the more anxious a woman feels, the more information about childbirth she tries to find. Sometimes this leads to even more stress and anxiety.
Imagine a person decides to jump with a parachute. He ground himself with theories about the opening mechanism of the dome, about air currents, about the correct grouping, etc. But it’s still scary. You can refuse to jump. But childbirth – will be! Knowing about the future is good, but emotions are sometimes stronger than rationality. Therefore, the most important thing is to believe in yourself, in your body, in your child. If you become pregnant, carried a baby, then the body knows what to do next. We must listen to him and support him.
Before childbirth, the body concentrates inward, as if accumulating strength. Therefore, expectant mothers become more passive, sleepy, sometimes aloof. This is physiologically understandable – they need a sufficient amount of the hormone oxytocin. And the adrenaline released into the blood during stress destroys it. That is why special attention is paid to the regime, sparing lifestyle and information hygiene.
Are there any prerequisites for the onset of prenatal depression?
Unfortunately, the number of depressive conditions is growing in the modern world. Studies show that women are 3 times more likely to be affected than men. One of the reasons is a brighter psycho-emotional background.
The development of depression in pregnant women can contribute to various reasons:
- unresolved conflicts;
- internal rejection of future motherhood;
- unwanted pregnancy;
- financial and domestic difficulties;
- excessive demands on oneself, when it is necessary to do everything, control everything and be an ideal mother, wife, employee, etc.
Prenatal depression is not just a bad mood. This is a persistent, weeks-long state of anxiety, sadness, and pessimism. It can provoke not only psychosomatic diseases, but also premature birth.
Correct and timely diagnosis of the mental state can reduce the risk of developing depressive tendencies during pregnancy, and thus prevent postpartum disorders.
It is important to pay attention to the mood of the expectant mother in time. Of course, patience and care are needed from others. A more trusting and warm relationship will help to avoid difficulties.
What happens to the emotional state of a woman after childbirth?
After giving birth, a woman expects a surge of emotions and tenderness. But this is not always the case. Maternal feelings do not turn on on click. The expectations of others that a young mother is happy, feels and understands the child are often not justified. A woman may experience regret and even guilt. It’s okay, it happens!
Even in the hospital, you can experience unpleasant sensations: the so-called “baby blues” or depressive syndrome. 85% of young mothers face it – this is due to hormonal changes in the body, it starts 3-5 days after birth and lasts from 2 days to two weeks. Usually it does not require any intervention and goes away on its own. If, over time, the psychological state of a new mother causes concern, and the process of adapting to a new role is not going as expected, pay attention to the following signs:
- tearfulness and sadness for no particular reason;
- reduced emotional background;
- increased irritability;
- lack of emotional reaction to what is happening in life;
- poor sleep, appetite;
- distraction of attention.
All of these are warning signs. The main burden will fall on the shoulders of the partner, because he plays the role of “first violin”, providing the necessary support and attention. After the birth of a child, a crisis often occurs in family relationships, and it will take time to adapt. The passage of this period will depend on how much parents understand and support each other.
How to help a new mother?
Support and care are different:
- Give mom a chance to rest and sleep.
- Take on household and domestic responsibilities.
- Arrange a weekend – give the young mother the opportunity to leave the house, go for a manicure, to a beauty salon, meet her friends.
- Find an opportunity to communicate. It can be a motherly chat where you can discuss all the complexities and difficulties of motherhood, see that what is happening is normal.
- Don’t give up on your own desires. Remind mom sometimes to do something for herself: let her choose her favorite foods for dinner, do not forget about her TV shows, books and hobbies.
- Listen to your emotional state. Create an environment in which you can cry, complain, or yell into a pillow, for example. It helps to relieve tension and throw out the accumulated negative emotions.
- Don’t be afraid to offer your mom the help of a specialist. It can be a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist. They will be able to provide additional support in difficult times.