Postpartum Mood Disorders(PPMD) is a topic we rarely talk about. Majority do not know what it is, meanwhile the few that know shy away from discussing it because of mockery and the fear of being tagged as "unwell" or "in crisis". PPMD is a depressive state a mother relapses in after childbirth. This in most cases arises due to hormonal change, fatigue and psychological adjustment in the system of a new mother. There are different types of PPMD including; Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis.
I experienced a very mild form of baby blues when I was about 11 days post partum. It was the most overwhelming feeling I have ever felt. Perhaps, it was due to raging hormones and the excitement, joy and anxiety of giving birth altogether. I had crying spells and low morale. Thanks to my husband I overcame it in less than no time. He was the greatest support system I had, with family and friends of course! Unfortunately, lots of other women go through more severe forms of PPMD but do not know or want to talk about. As such, I will explain the three different types of PPMD.
BABY BLUES (BB) is the mildest type of PPMD. In simple terms, it is a feeling caused by sudden change of hormones which leaves one in an emotional state where you have crying spells, mood swings, anxiety, self doubt, and insomnia. The exact cause of baby blues is unknown, however studies have shown that baby blues affect up to 80% of all new mothers. Out of this 80%, 20% further degenerate into postpartum depression.
For some people, BB starts immediately after childbirth and last between 3-14 days after childbirth. The duration of baby blues often depends on circumstances surrounding the new mother. For example, the type of childbirth experience, changes in body shape resulting from pregnancy, changes in work and social relationship, disruption of routine, and sleep disturbance caused by the newborn, etc.
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION (PPD) occurs when baby blues refuse to fade away. It affects almost 25% of new mothers and it can last for a year. Hormonal changes and non-hormonal factors come can be the cause of PPD. Women who have PPD feel like they can’t handle being a mother and often feel they are not caring for their baby enough. In most cases, they don’t feel any bond with their baby. They often have alternating days of happiness and sadness. If you know anyone going through this stage of PPMD it is important they seek medical help.
It is also important to note that, PPD is common among young mothers especially those below the age of 20, or those who have unplanned pregnancy. Women who drink alcohol, smoke or take illegal substances commonly experienced PPD after childbirth. Also women who had stressful pregnancy or bad birth experience may have postpartum depression as well. Poor relationship with important persons in a new mother's life can also can also cause severe depression after delivery.
POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS (PPP) is the most severe and the rarest form of postpartum mood disorders. According to research, it occurs in 1 to 2 out of every 1000 pregnancies. PPP strikes normally between the second or third week after childbirth and the most severe ones may last up to 12 weeks while recovery takes between 6 months and a year. Women with PPP exhibit symptoms that include; rapid mood swing, hallucinations, thoughts of harming self or their baby, bizarre behavior, hyperactivity, extreme fatigue, losing touch with reality and some even commit infanticide. Medically, PPP is seen as emergency and treated immediately.
If you know anyone experiencing any of this, please dont get too hard on them. Encourage them to SPEAK OUT. Help them and ask for help from medical and psychiatric personnel. You can also give them a break from chores and let them have a time out. Pamper them, take them to a spa or a treat.
Have you experienced or seen anyone experiencing any form of PPMD? What was it like and how is it solved? Please feel free to leave a comment down below and subscribe!
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I am a proud wife and loving mum to my awesome little boy. I am a goal setter and a goalgetter. I love having happy people around me because i believe "those around you have a great influence on you". My hobbies are reading, trying out recipes, travelling, and meeting people. I would love to know and hear from you. Lets relate!!!
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