The post-partum depressionis a condition that occurs 2 to 8 weeks after childbirth, and can last from 6 months to a year.
Unlike the baby blueswhich affects a significant number of women, post-partum depression is an illness that occurs in 10% to 15% of women in France who have given birth, and which will develop more severely over time, requiring specific treatment. Post-partum depression can also develop as a continuation of the baby blues.
Women who have already suffered from depression or severe anxiety are at greater risk of developing post-partum depression, although this can affect any mother.
What's more, women often find it hard to seek help and tend to s'isolate themselves, feeling guilty for feeling this way when they thought they'd be happy when their baby was born, especially if he or she was wanted. They feel like bad mothers. Sometimes they also blame it on fatigue. Many suffer from this pathology without having spoken to the medical profession.
However, it's important to identify this pathology so that it can be treated as quickly as possible and early interactions with your baby can be established under the right conditions.
What are the symptoms of post-partum depression?
The symptoms of post-partum depression are well-known and numerous. They are often similar to any other depression, except that they are associated with the baby. They can be :
- Intense, long-lasting sadness
- Feeling of inefficiency
- Loss of interest in everyday activities
- Intense, constant fatigue
- Sleep disorders and severe insomnia
- Psychomotor slowdown (difficulty thinking and concentrating, reduced alertness, memory lapses, difficulty following or participating in a conversation, difficulty taking action, etc.).
- Loss of appetite
- Permanent urge to cry
- Psychological exhaustion
- No joy
- Altered perception of self and others
- Feelings of incompetence, failure, powerlessness and inadequacy
- Feeling discouraged
- Fear of hurting your baby
- Little/excessive interest in self or baby
- Major mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
To be able to speak of post-partum depression, the woman must experience at least two symptoms, and these must be permanent, impacting on her daily life after the baby's birth. That's why it's called an illness.
What causes post-partum depression?
Several factors could be at the root of post-partum depression. These include
- Psychological factors: stress can arise following childbirth, because of what the birth of a child and/or becoming a mother represents.
- Hormonal changes: throughout pregnancy, hormones "play" with a woman's body. After birth, the body undergoes another hormonal change, which may contribute to this mood disorder.
- The "empty stomach" sensation after childbirth
- Difficult psychological conditions: loneliness, marital conflicts, insufficient or inadequate marital support, lack of family and social support
- Mental and physical exhaustion
- Family history of post-partum depression
- Personal history of depression
- A difficult birth
- Health problems
- Breastfeeding difficulties,...
In any case, if you feel unwell after giving birth or feel like talking about it, don't hesitate to seek professional help! We'll do everything in our power to help you get through this stage as smoothly as possible, with our beautiful period pants !
Courage, you are a Warrior !
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