These days more and more women approach the decision to have a baby very consciously, choosing the time when they are physically and emotionally prepared. However, there are several challenges that may present themselves after the childbirth with some of them having long-term implications. One of such problems is postpartum depression, which may come particularly unexpected to those mothers who sincerely want to have children.
There are several symptoms associated with this condition. They usually include anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbance, and suicidal ideation (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). Extreme preoccupation with the child’s health and fear of causing them harm is also an often-reported issue (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). These symptoms can resolve after a few weeks or may continue beyond the first year after the delivery (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). Therefore, this is not a condition to be ignored, and mothers who experience any of these issues should seek professional help.
If postpartum depression remains undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to several negative implications. For instance, mothers might experience such problems as declines in physical health and difficulties maintaining a healthy and productive relationship (Slomian et al. 2019). Moreover, postpartum depression is associated with several language and cognitive development challenges in children (Slomian et al., 2019). Hence, it might be dangerous both for a mother and for a baby.
Therefore, it is essential to address this disorder in time. Strategies the doctors employ depend on the severity of symptoms: if they are mild, psychological therapy might be sufficient, but if the issues persist or severe from the beginning, it is likely that antidepressants would be prescribed (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). However, although postpartum depression is treatable, prevention is crucial, which demands identifying the predictors. For instance, a history of depression and anxiety is considered a major risk factor (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). Others include a reaction to hormonal imbalances, low social support, and negative life events (Stewart & Vigor, 2016). Identifying such predictors is crucial for preventing the condition.
To conclude, postpartum depression is a severe psychological disorder that can lead to a number of complications having a negative impact on a mothers and a childs health. Therefore, it is essential that medical practitioners closely oversee every pregnancy recognizing possible risk factors and taking action when necessary. However, even if the disorder has not been prevented, there are several strategies that can help women to overcome it.
Slomian, J., Honvo, G., Emonts, P., Reginster, J. Y., & Bruyère, O. (2019). Consequences of maternal postpartum depression: A systematic review of maternal and infant outcomes. Women’s Health, 15, 1-55.
Stewart, D. E., & Vigod, S. (2016). Postpartum depression. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(22), 2177-2186.