Most people assume that being a mom to a healthy newborn is a blissful experience. In reality, looking after an infant is extremely stressful, all while healing from the physical toll of pregnancy and giving birth. It’s not uncommon for women to feel overwhelmed, anxious and tearful soon after their babies have been born. It’s actually termed as the “baby blues” and happens very regularly.
However, for some women, feelings of despair don’t fade within a few weeks and may worsen over time. For others, these negative feelings pop up weeks or months after having a baby. This condition is known as postpartum depression. You may be surprised to discover that it can affect men too. In India, it has estimated that about 19% of women experience postpartum depression. Celebrities such as Esha Deol, Sameera Reddy and Soha Ali Khan have opened up about their struggles with it in the press. It can be comforting to know you’re not alone. And when it comes to postpartum depression, you’re definitely not alone.
Postpartum depression can trigger a feeling of persistent sadness, a lack of energy and appetite, trouble sleeping, difficulty bonding with your baby and a general loss of enjoyment in life. Women suffering from postpartum depression also experienced erratic mood swings, clammy hands and adrenaline rushes.
If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression, it’s really important to speak to your doctor. There are lots of things that professionals can do to help cope with feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and a lack of feeling bonded with your baby. If you are having thoughts of harming your baby or yourself, get help from your spouse or family to look after the baby immediately and speak to a health professional. And, of course, there are techniques you can try to ease the feelings of depression yourself. Here’s a look at one woman’s experience and what she did to overcome it. While her tips might not work for everyone, trying some of them may help you.
Her best advice? Remember you are as important as your baby and that it won’t last forever.