They key to finding out when a woman has postnatal depression is, of course, to understand and to recognize the signs of postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression and when they can occur.
What is postnatal depression, though?
Postnatal depression is a type of clinical depression that can afflict women, after they give birth to their children.
Postpartum depression should be considered as a serious medical illness. It occurs because of the changing hormone levels in a woman after giving birth. The lifestyle changes inevitable after childbirth also contribute significantly.
In most cases, this type of depression can happen within the first few months after a woman has given birth. Women who have undergone either a stillbirth or a miscarriage can also suffer postpartum depression.
Women who are affected with this type of depression can experience a difficult time in their efforts at bonding and caring for their new infant.
In some cases postnatal depression can even worsen to the point that it becomes something known in clinical circles as postnatal psychosis. This is a rare and more extreme type of depression, which could result in the afflicted women potentially hurting herself or her infant.
The symptoms of postpartum depression can actually overlap with something referred to as the Baby Blues, which is a recognised type of depression experienced by women in first days and sometimes weeks after giving birth. The Baby Blues can become postnatal depression when a person suffers the symptoms for an extended amount of time.
Here are the Baby Blues symptoms:
• Mood swings
• Either mild or moderate types of anxiety
• It is usual for sadness to be present
• Unusual irritability
• Lack of ability in either focusing or concentrating on things
• Sleep predicaments like excessive sleep or difficulty in falling asleep
• Lack of interest in the baby
Some of the usual postnatal depression symptoms are:
• A loss of appetite
• difficulty in falling asleep
• Loss of sexual and general interest
• Extreme mood swings
• Withdrawal from people they are normally close to
• Inability to bond with new infant
• Thoughts of self-harm or even harming the new infant
There are a whole host of symptoms that a woman experiencing postnatal depression may display. Therefore, there is again the need to be really familiar with these symptoms. Woman and men in Ireland should be aware that postnatal depression is real, and they should be on the lookout for the very real possibility of its onset after childbirth occurs.
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