According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of women will have depression after childbirth and this condition is more than just a feeling of sadness or melancholy for a few days. It is a serious illness that can greatly affect the woman, her baby and family, “says the entity in its report Care during labor, delivery and postpartum.
And is that according to experts some women do not even realize that they have depression after childbirth, and it is common for family members to realize that something is wrong. “Once a diagnosis is made, postpartum depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy,” the report said.
For her part, the psychologist of the National University Mónica Lucía Castelblanco Niño, says that there are many and varied cases in which this depression occurs and can occur as much three or four months after having had the baby, as soon is born.
Some of the causes
For the National University psychologist, there are several factors that can trigger postpartum depression; However, one of the most important is the genetic factor. “A pregnant woman should check her family history because if, for example, her mother or grandmother had postpartum depression after her pregnancies, it is very likely that she will also suffer from it.”
In this regard, a study from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States found that genetic analysis can predict whether women will suffer from postpartum depression.
“Research has focused on epigenetics, that is, on those factors that make a gene active or not, and therefore produce a particular response. Epigenetic factors are acquired and altered with life, with experiences. As the mother’s lifestyle influences epigenetics, we come to the conclusion that postpartum depression can be prevented. ”
Another cause that Castelblanco mentions is the affective bond that the mother has with the baby during the nine months of gestation, because it is a time in which mother and son connect and form a solid union. “When the woman has had the delivery and does not have her child in the womb, she feels she is abandoned in some way and may have postpartum depression.”
A third aspect that can cause it is a subject that has been worked from analytical psychology or psychoanalysis: “It consists in the woman losing that object of the desire of her womb, which is the son, and begins to have and to take more care for the Child than by her; In addition, the attention that their surroundings and relatives direct to the child, can make it abandoned or relegated, and therefore depressed, “adds the psychologist.
Added to these three aspects is the correlation that strong hormonal changes have with the mood of the woman, as the levels of the pheromones begin to change madly.
How to treat it?
At a general level, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends to women with postpartum depression:
- Set realistic goals and seek support.
- They may have to learn to care for their own needs and those of their family as well.
- Ask for help in child care or housework.
- Set aside time for yourself whenever possible, to regain energy. Asking a friend or family member to take care of your baby to leave the house at least once a day, even if it is only for a short walk – can be helpful.
- Sharing your experiences with other women facing depression after childbirth can help you feel better and less alone. You can find support groups at local hospitals, family planning clinics, or community centers.
- If the health professional determines it, there may be management with antidepressants, but care must be taken because in many cases the mothers are breastfeeding.
- Psychotherapy is definitive and important because it is psychological support.
Attention to these symptoms
1. When the mother does not want to breastfeed her child.
2. If the woman enters deep cries and confinements in which she does not want to get out of bed.
3. Other mothers, on the other hand, do not want to let go of their child.
4. The fear of existence appears, or what psychologists call the famous terror without a name, which is recognized by the health professional in his consultations.
5. When the mother seeks to harm herself or her child.
According to Castelblanco, the consequences that this condition brings for mom and baby can be quite negative and trigger bigger problems. “The rupture of the bond between the mother and the baby could affect moments such as breastfeeding, which is essential for the development of the child’s palate, nutrition and psycho-emotional development.”
This can lead to an anticoagulant depression in the baby when his mother is depressed and also that the mother does not read correctly the emotions of the child but confuses them, and does not return the child what he needs, In this circumstance, there may be a rupture of the child’s emotional attachment and self-absorption.