Mental Health in New Mothers

Postnatal phase is certainly the most wrecking time for both the parents, particularly mothers. They go through a tough mental, emotional, and physical phase. While the causes of Postpartum Depression (PPD) could range from traumatic birth experience to hormonal changes, inadequate support and depression history, it leaves a huge effect on the mental health of new mothers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO),Postpartum Depression affects approximately 13% of women within a year of childbirth; the symptoms of which could be mild to severe, starting from baby blues to psychosis. Some women also show irritability and inability to bond with the baby. However, even the mild baby blues and mood irritability could lead to major depression.

Management of mental health after having a baby is essential for the well-being of both the baby and the mother. However, it is important to research and prepare well before delivery. Both the parents should discuss their fears and communicate their worries to their doctor, and examine for possible risks of PPD. Taking childbirth classes also help prepare well for the crucial aspects of birth. Also, prior counselling of partners and caregivers about signs of anxiety, helps in early management and better recovery of mothers.

The treatments for anxiety and PPD range from medications to psychiatric sessions. However, it is also crucial to have a good support network that encourages mothers to talk about their feelings and emotions, and lends them a helping hand. In addition to support, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle including nutritious diet, mild walk and rest helps in recovering mothers physically and plays a vital role on their mental well-being.

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