Postpartum depression is the depressive period that most females and some males go through; post the delivery of a baby. The term seems to be a paradox when heard for the first time because childbirth is usually associated with the onset of a period of eternal happiness and joy in the lives of both the parents. It also marks the beginning of a new journey in the lives of the new parents. So one would obviously wonder why any mother or father would suffer from depression, post the birth of their baby. Postpartum Depression or PPD is more common than we can really imagine and is certainly a serious issue worth discussion.
The cause of PPD isn’t very clear, most medical professionals believe that it is a combination of both physical and mental issues. After the birth of a child, many women undergo hormonal changes, which is natural. But, it often takes time to recover from the bodily changes that they had to go through before and during the birth. And more often than not, they don’t get the time to fully recover, as they have to take care of a new human being. This makes them irritable, suffering from severe mood swings, crankiness and gradually, all these factors lead to depression. Fathers, too, are affected by these phases of emotional upheaval, making them go through depressive episodes are well.
11 Must Know Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression
This mood disorder is still not properly discussed among people and therefore, people don’t have a clear idea as to how to deal with it. What is even worse is that people don’t know how dangerous PPD can be. In this article, we will discuss 11 risk factors of PPD-
Previous Postpartum Depressive Episode:
It is to be noted that women, who have previously suffered from PPD, are at a greater risk of suffering from PPD again. This is probably due to improper treatment of the condition when it has struck previously. So, such women (or men, who might have suffered from PPD before too) need to be very careful during their next pregnancy.
If the woman had a difficult pregnancy, then the effects of that time period don’t magically vanish after the birth of the baby. For instance, if the woman had a difficult delivery, it will take time to recover from the aftereffects of that delivery, like body issues and negative self-perception as a result of that. Or if the woman had faced difficulties during her pregnancy, then that could affect her overall being, even after she becomes a mother. These issues left untreated can lead to PPD.
Poor Support System:
Lack of support from family and friends can make things worse for any new mother or father. This lack of support can drastically transform childbirth, from a happy and enlightening experience to a dreadful experience, resulting in the onset of depression in new parents.
If the baby is an unplanned baby, or if the finances of the family are not in a good condition, then the birth of a child could prove to be extremely stressful for both the parents. This can result in depression.
The experience of childbirth can only be a joyful experience if there is a good equation between the parents of the baby. Marital or relationship issues can make both the parties extremely stressful, which in turn can affect the attitude of the parents towards their newborn. This can result in depression and negatively impact the new parents.
Previous History of Mental Illnesses:
If the mother or the father has suffered from mental illnesses particularly depression in the past, then that can strike back in the form of PPD in future. So, any person with a history of depression should be very careful while dealing with the birth of their kid.
Stress plays a huge role in the onset of PPD among the parents. Every person suffers from some kind of stress or the other, but there are always some factors and incidents that can act as major triggers of stress. This can lead to depression.
How a mother interacts with her child or feels about the entire pregnancy and the journey towards the broth of her kid largely depends on the kind of person she is. Did she really want to have a kid? Does she want to raise the kid in a way different from those around her? How does she deal with difficult situations as a person? These factors are extremely important in determining how the mother is going to sail through the entire journey and whether she’ll be negatively affected by the cons or not.
History of Bipolar Disease:
Both bipolar disorder and postpartum depression have one thing in common- extreme mood swings. A lot of studies show that women suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from PPD as compared to other women.
Drastic Drop in Hormonal Levels:
Hormonal changes are common during and post pregnancy, but a drastic drop in the hormonal levels in the body of the mother might affect the mother’s mood, resulting in depression.
The Health of the Baby:
More often than not, mothers are expected to naturally love their children, no matter what. This societal expectation often burdens the mother, rather than helping her deal with this overwhelming thing. By any chance, after going through nine months of stress, joy, drastic changes and what not, if the baby is not healthy in any way, it adds to the already accumulated stress in the mother, or at times, the father’s life. And if there is no one to help the parents with this, then these situations gradually lead to PPD.
PPD can be kept under control with the right medication and the right decisions, taken at the right time. It’s very important to raise awareness about this disorder among the people.
Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!