Postpartum Depression: Sadness In The Happiest...

Postpartum Depression: Sadness In The Happiest Moment Of Life

One of the most beautiful moments of women that they remember with greater enthusiasm is the period of motherhood. There are changes in the body, in the relationship with the partner, in the body image, and even in the emotions. Just as pregnancy is often a time of joy and happiness, it can also bring changes in mood that can lead to disruption of the pregnancy and the care of the baby.

During pregnancy, the hormonal system undergoes many changes, and these substances increase progressively in order to guarantee the viability of the fetus and the placental system. When the baby is born and the placenta is expelled, many of these hormones fall and this can lead to, in some cases, where there is a biological predisposition, women may have periods of decreased mood, anxiety or anguish, sensitivity, fatigue, slowness, and irritability. Many women in the postpartum period, perhaps between 40 and 70%, can develop these changes in a mild and very transitory way, usually starting in the first week and resolving in the following week without any treatment. Those little mood swings have been called "maternity blues" or "baby blues."

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1 in 8 women apart from experiencing these symptoms that are mild and normal can develop postpartum depression, in which the symptoms are more severe, generating suffering and functionality problems. Some studies even show that approximately half of the women who develop postpartum depression have already been presenting mild symptoms of sadness, a feeling of loneliness, anxiety, or irritability since before giving birth.

In postpartum depression, symptoms can occur in the body and in the mind. The patient begins to have sadness most of the time, she stops enjoying the things that give her pleasure, crying, weakness, and increased worries. The mother becomes more negative and catastrophic, she thinks that she is not going to be able with her baby and that she is not going to be able to take care of her or him, she may even feel a little interested in everything related to hers. 60% of women with postpartum depression also have obsessive thoughts, fear of harming the baby, ugly or aggressive images, and repetitive ideas that have no goal come to mind. Seeing the woman so unmotivated by her baby and with those negative ideas in her head, she usually begins to feel very guilty and self-reproach, all of which makes the situation worse.

Other symptoms that may appear are sleep problems, decreased or increased appetite, the desire to stay in bed, sensitivity, and lack of concentration. The sexual desire goes down, the movements become slower and the mother begins to feel lazier to share with other people, so she tries to stay in her room most of the time. It is also common for people to think about death, feel hopeless and have low self-esteem.

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Some people in the family or even the woman herself tend to think that many of these depressive symptoms are due to anemia, poor diet, fatigue during childbirth, or the late nights of the first few days. It is important as a family not to blame the patient, listen to her, and try to ask her about more symptoms to understand what is happening to her. Postpartum depression is not a disease that can be explained by lack of affection, spiritual problems, or malnutrition. It is a disease and must be treated.

The most important thing when a woman is in one of these situations is to seek help, tell someone close to her and talk to her family doctor, the obstetrician-gynecologist, or the hospital or nurses. They will know how to understand it and will explain the steps to follow. They have treated and listened to many women in the same situation. Many women are embarrassed to tell other people about these symptoms, but it is important to stop being shy and not remain silent.

Treatments for depression include 4 pillars, in the same way, that four legs support a table

- Family support: The accompaniment of family and friends is very important so that the patient feels strengthened and can get out of depression. Do not judge her, be patient and allow her to talk and vent about her, and prudently show her that she can take care of the baby and that it is important to everyone.

- Healthy lifestyles: Avoid staying in "bed mode", if the brain and body are not stimulated this can further increase depression. Getting up, showering, basking in the sun, taking a short walk, keeping your hands busy, and distracting yourself to avoid the “thinker” can all help. It is very important to have a balanced diet.

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- Psychological accompaniment: Studies show that follow-up with a good psychologist can be very useful, because they can help women to change some thoughts for more positive ones, to know how to cope with guilt and obsessions, and it is a space professional where she can let off steam without problems.

- Medication: Many women with postpartum depression when they have not improved or when the symptoms are very strong may need to be accompanied by some medication. Fortunately, doctors have many treatment options that are safe and do not cause sedation or dependency, and that will not significantly affect the baby. Proper treatment will allow a depressed woman to be happy and active, and to enjoy this important period of her life. Medications used in these situations increase the amount of serotonin in the brain and help prevent relapses in the future. Do not self-medicate, even natural medicines can worsen symptoms or trigger anxiety.


Postpartum depression is very common and all of us who are around a mother should think about it. The accompaniment of the family, healthy lifestyles, psychology, and antidepressant medication are the four options that we have so that a woman in the postpartum stage regains happiness and enjoys her baby. If you are reading this article and identify the symptoms that I described, do not hesitate to tell your doctor and the obstetrician-gynecologist, who will surely be able to guide you and help you to get better soon.



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