Nearly 10-15% of all new pregnancies find women experiencing some form of clinical depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If you or your loved one has been feeling depressed for prolonged periods post-delivery, it is best to consult our postnatal depression counselling services for a detailed understanding of postpartum depression symptoms and treatment.
Depression after pregnancy can begin anytime within the first two months of delivering your baby. There is a general feeling of constant despair and a severe lack of confidence in taking care of their baby and in some cases, even a fear of harming their child.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy, crying or tearfulness, difficulty in concentrating, irritability or hypersensitivity, anxiety and worry, anger and negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, fatigue or exhaustion, helplessness or guilt, difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep), changes in appetite or eating habits, stomachaches, headaches, muscle or backaches.
There is no single cause of post pregnancy depression; it is a combination of biochemical, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors. Some women are more likely to be affected by pregnancy depression than others. Some factors that may predict whether postnatal depression symptoms will occur are: a family history of depression or anxiety, bouts of intense anxiety or depression while you were pregnant, particularly in the third trimester, eem, a anxiety, marital difficulties, childcare stress, inadequate social support, having to care for a child with a difficult temperament, low self-esteemgle, lower socioeconomic status and postpartum blues.
Without treatment for postnatal depression, the condition can last for months or years. In addition to affecting the mother’s health, it can interfere with her ability to connect with and care for her baby, and may cause the baby to have problems with sleeping, eating, and behaviour as he or she grows.
To deal effectively with postpartum depression, it is best to go in for postpartum depression counselling. Our experienced counsellors and doctors at Wif Hospital will ask you to complete a depression-screening questionnaire and order blood tests or any other test required to determine if an underactive thyroid or other factors may be contributing to your signs and symptoms of postpartum depression.
Counsellors will also guide you in techniques to tackle postpartum depression. These methods include steps on how to love and care for yourself, how to pamper yourself and how not to be hard on yourself. Also, our guidance counsellors will show you how to build a support system, how to relax your body and mind, how not to be bogged down by household chores and also highlight the benefits of joining a post-natal depression support group. In addition to counselling, antidepressants may also be prescribed which are considered safe while breastfeeding.
After 4-6 weeks of delivery, most women receive the go-ahead from doctors to resume their sex life. However, sex after having a baby may need some work, communication and mutual understanding. Our counselling experts at Women and Newborn Hospital suggest some simple tips to rekindle your romance, and achieve a healthy physical relationship with your spouse:
- Use alternate venues such as the couch, car or kitchen to make love, as the bed may just lull you to sleep.
- If you are not up to going all the way, indulge in some foreplay, a quick caress, a steamy kiss, oral sex, an erotic massage or manual stimulation
- Use your baby’s naptime for intercourse or plan to take care of your chores later. You can also think about calling a friend or family member to babysit the baby, to have some time alone.
- Compliment your partner and tell him/her how attractive they are.
- Practice some simple beauty routines to feel good about yourself and attract the attention of your partner
- Experiment with positions, as the aches and sores of a post-delivery body, could need some new positions which hurt less and offers maximum pleasure
- Practice some Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles so that you can enjoy sex