As long as men, like many women, refuse to believe in the existence of postpartum depression, this problem only keeps getting bigger. After giving birth, a woman’s life changes dramatically. And although there are many myths surrounding this condition, every parent-to-be should know how to cope with it.
Most often, this condition occurs during the first 3 weeks after the baby is born, but may also develop later. The most common symptoms are guilt and sadness due to the lack of maternal instinct and unwillingness to take care of the child.
Many publishers have covered a high-profile case that occurred in early March 2019. After going missing for a week, 36-year-old Rachel McAfee was found with her 3-month-old daughter in her car. The woman was taken to a hospital with severe hypothermia, while baby Emma was beyond saving.
According to one version, she was suffering from postpartum depression and intended to commit suicide. For the time being, it remains unknown why she took the newborn with her.
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Another story of a struggle with postpartum depression was shared by Samoina Wangui. She experienced first symptoms during pregnancy, and it got worse after the labor. For months, the woman hoped she could love her child, but it didn’t happen. Unable to consult a doctor, Samoina started to search for a solution on the web, studying information about postpartum depression and learning from other women’s experience. Not only did she manage to overcome it, but she also began to help others.
Suicidal thoughts can appear in different periods of life. Another mother opened up that, at first, she used to cry all the time and automatically did her duties, not knowing how to rejoice at her daughter’s achievements. Then it all spiralled down to one dark thought. Fortunately, she turned out to be a real fighter and, in the end, managed to ask for help.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from one person to another, but often this condition manifests itself in:
- sadness and despair;
- lack of desire to care for the baby;
- crying for no apparent reason;
- mood swings and panic attacks;
- fear of being a bad mother;
- loss of appetite, interest in hobbies, and even self-care;
- fatigue, drowsiness, difficulty in processing information, and memory problems.
Remember that this is a medical condition that requires medical intervention, and not an inability to love your baby or be a good mother.
Along with medical help, you should have good rest, remain moderately physically active, eat regularly and well, spend time outdoors, and receive support from your loved ones.
Depression is a mental disorder, not a whim or bad mood. Blaming yourself for developing this condition is pointless, as in the case of any other disease, and detrimental. Also, you shouldn’t try to cope with it yourself, as was the case with Rachel McAfee. A delay in seeking help can lead to a real tragedy.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.