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Postpartum Depression – Your Mental Well-Being
How does your mental well-being during pregnancy affect childbirth, recovery and the newborn? A growing flood of pregnancy care professionals are incorporating wellness counseling and counseling as part of their preventive care for pregnant women in an effort to curb postpartum complications, including depression. Not only does thishelp keep postpartum health care costs down, but prenatal planning and realistic expectations help new moms navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood.
Over the past decade, we have increasingly heard the term “Postpartum Depression” as a condition that affects some new mothers, and many medical professionals, including the American Medical Association (AMA), recognize this phenomenon as a valid condition that often requires treatment in the form of psychotropic medications. Is this really the safest route for new mothers?
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 12, 2002), about 1 in 10 mothers feel depressed, some severely, and some have postpartum symptoms within 6 months, including sadness, tearfulness, irritability, or mood swings. , known as the “baby blues”. When these symptoms worsen, such as emotional numbness or apathy, withdrawal from family or friends, intense worry or concern about the baby or lack thereof, fear of harming oneself or the baby, it is time to act proactively for the safety and well-being of both. mother and baby.
“The jury is still out on the safety of postpartum antidepressants, and I wouldn’t risk my baby on it,” agrees Kay Krueger, founder of Peaceful Arrivals, an organization that provides help and counseling to pregnant women and new mothers. “In fact, more and more healthcare professionals are moving to a more pragmatic approach to treating postpartum depression in new mothers.” Kay agrees that the condition is real, but offers safe and practical solutions rather than a strict regimen of antidepressants to combat the problems associated with postpartum depression. According to the US Centers for Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control), about 70% of new mothers choose to breastfeed their newborns, raising a valid argument for passing these antidepressants to infants through breast milk, especially since the long-term effects are unknown.
Kay suggests, “First and foremost, you want to keep the environment calm and safe for the newborn; and a lot of that starts with the prenatal environment. An agitated mother often means an agitated baby, and so the cycle continues. Irritations feed off each other.”
Developing information suggests that a mother’s positive mental outlook during pregnancy can greatly affect her delivery success, postpartum well-being and baby’s satisfaction, which is why pregnant women should always be given special care and caution. to prevent injury or emotional distress to her or her baby.
Many mothers are also not prepared for the demands of a newborn, even if they already have children. “The more you can ask for help, at least for the first few months, the better,” advises Kay. “I remind women over and over that it will get easier, you’ll get a good night’s sleep again.” In the meantime, Kay recommends budgeting for and utilizing catering professionals, grocery delivery, cleaning and laundry services, carpooling and after-school activities for school-aged children, and home chiropractic or massage services for overstressed people if affordable. Mum. “Each shower and dressing is important to a new mother’s self-esteem and should be encouraged and supported,” adds Kay. “Also, don’t hesitate to accept help from friends or relatives, even if it means allowing the mother to take a painful nap. Just as tired or sleepy children can start to ‘pass out’, so can the mother of a newborn, leaving her a little depressed.”
Sleep and nutrition are a huge factor in a new mother’s well-being. A recent study by Signe Karen Dørheim, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist at Stavanger University Hospital in Stavanger, Norway, concluded that poor sleep is associated with postpartum depression, independent of other risk factors, such as a poor relationship, depression, and depression during pregnancy. and stressful life events. The aspects of sleep most associated with depression were sleep disturbances and subjective sleep quality. These discoveries do not come as a surprise to Kay; he and his staff report that the number one complaint of women who have given birth is fatigue and confusion due to insomnia.
“We all seem to forget how important basic needs are,” reminds Kay. “This is especially true for new moms who are learning how to balance the demands of their babies with their own personal needs. New moms are especially vulnerable to sleep and nutritional deficiencies in addition to already erratic hormonal adjustments. I remind new moms to eat enough high-quality foods, continue taking prenatal supplements, especially B-complex vitamins taking (with their doctor’s permission, of course) and cope with the sleep disturbances as best they can until their babies start sleeping for longer periods.”
In fact, for many women, just knowing that their negative feelings are temporary and often part of the postpartum transition makes dealing with their feelings much easier. Many new mothers mistakenly think that this is what the rest of their lives will be about. Fortunately, this is rarely the case, and reassurances that these symptoms will improve with time help the new mother see that sleep and normalcy are returning to her life. More tips from Kay: Keep your attention away, i.e. avoid being an introvert. Meet with friends once a week for a little “adult” time. Go for a walk with the stroller, making sure you look out as far as you can see and notice something new; or driving a car – babies also love both of these activities. Getting some fresh air and expanding your space can do wonders when the world starts to feel too small. “And, thankfully, don’t try to compete with other moms or meet arbitrary expectations! This is a special time for you and your baby—do everything you can to enjoy it!”
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