Pregnancy / Childbirth

Postpartum depression - "the invention of weak women"?


There are many places about postpartum depression in a serious tone. Its causes, specificity and how to deal with the problem are analyzed. However, we still have a strong myth of "Polish Mother" who coped well with everything, and no "postpartum depression" can break it, "because there is no time for stupidity." "So if I could, why can't she do it?"

It turns out that the answer is trivial - each of us is different and each experiences differently the first difficult weeks after the birth of the child. And ignoring or ridiculing the problem does nothing. From this postpartum depression will not disappear. And just as importantly, no one will help this way. On the contrary, you can deepen your inner sadness and breakdown.

Postpartum depression affects 10% -20% of women. Will it fall on you?

Postpartum depression affects 10% -20% (depending on the source) of women in the first year after childbirth.

Moms suffering from postnatal depression usually do not recognize their symptoms, and they often escape their immediate family members. A woman's partner may also be depressed and experience conflicting feelings, which is why she sometimes has a problem with an objective assessment of a woman's condition.

If, despite these adversities, a woman goes to a doctor, her health will improve significantly. What counts in postpartum depression is professional help and support of people closest to a woman.

The myth of "Polish Mother" promotes depression

There are cultures in which the term 'postpartum depression' is unknown. These are places where parents of young children receive much more help than in European countries. An example is the Japanese Goto archipelago, where a woman is transferred to her parents' home one month after delivery. There, she is covered with a duvet for most of the day on a bed with a newborn baby. Its only task is to rest and feed the child. During this time, the environment cares for her and the baby, taking care of everything - cleaning, cooking, caring for the child, when mom wants to be alone for a while. After a month, a young mother and her baby return to their husband, where they live together.

Respect, support and the great love that young mothers are surrounded by means that postnatal depression in the Goto archipelago is not known.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

  • hormonal changes (prolactin and oxytocin work intensively during the puerperium, as well as sex and thyroid hormones) responsible for sudden mood swings,
  • sleep disturbance
  • appetite disorders
  • sense of incompetence
  • no joy of contact with the child,

Symptoms of postpartum depression do not have to occur a few days after delivery. It happens that they appear when the baby is several months old.

Many young mothers feel depressed due to fluctuations in hormones. If feelings of hopelessness do not go away after 2 weeks after delivery, it is worth consulting a doctor.

How to avoid postnatal depression?

In the first weeks and months of the child's life, the attitude of the partner, the father of the child, is very important. His role should not be limited to sweet kisses in the infant's small forehead, but should consist of a concrete commitment to his duties. A man should participate in the concrete care of the child in as specific a way as possible - change diapers, carry a child, go for a walk with him, bathe, etc.

In addition, depression can be avoided if we learn to relax with the child and allow our loved ones to help ourselves and when we ask for support, which sometimes involves putting pride in your pocket.

Growing up in an environment where there is a strong belief that you should deal with yourself, where resourcefulness and self-sufficiency are the main key assets, makes many women not want to expose themselves to unpleasant comments and try to deal with everything alone ... because of this the way their mother, mother-in-law, grandmother did ... In this way, unfortunately, they are exposed to burnout, fatigue and deterioration of mood, which in the long run can lead to depression.