Post Natal Depression (PND) is a depressive illness that women experience after childbirth. PND is very common in mothers who experienced stressful life during the pregnancy, and those in whom the baby was born with complications. It occurs in one out of ten mothers. The known cause of this illness is that the hormonal changes in the woman's body after giving birth. Moreover, Post Natal Depression (PND) could be detected through the use of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. If a mother scores higher than thirteen, she is expected to develop PND. Symptoms of this depression include but are not limited to the following: sadness, low self-esteem, fatigue, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, irritability, guilt, sleep and eating disturbances, exhaustion, low energy, lost of interest in sex and panic attacks. Anxiety is the symptom that frequently occurs in this kind of depression. Normal concerns and anxieties that any mother feels for a new baby may become overwhelming. In addition, mothers may experience panic attacks which are episodes lasting for hours when they feel as if something disastrous is going to happen - such as collapsing, or heart attack.
Most women could overcome such depression within four to six months even without any treatment from the experts. But it must also be a consideration that one out of four mothers with PND are still depressed even when their child is getting older. This could mean a lot of suffering. It can obviously spoil the experience of new motherhood. Mothers could damage her relationship with her baby as well as with her husband. As a result, she could affect her child's development and behavior even after the depression has ended. So the shorter it lasts, the better. Mothers need to be taken seriously when the symptoms of PND occur. Treatment for this depression could possibly reduce the length of suffering and its severity.
Fortunately, numerous scientific studies support the idea that Post Natal Depression is treatable using variety of methods. Various treatment options include but not limited to the following: medical evaluation to rule out physiological problem, cognitive behavioral therapy, home visitor and healthy diet. The treatment depends on how unwell a mother is. She should be informed about the benefits as well as the risks of treatment so she can make the best choice for herself and most importantly, for the baby.
Mothers who suffer from PND often worry about harming or not looking after their babies properly. But generally they look after their children as any mother would undeniably do. Unfortunately, some family members do harm the babies sometimes. These people may have a history of being harmed or mistreated when they were still young but this does not relate directly to Post Natal Depression
If you are troubled that you may harm your baby, or that a mother you know may harm their child, speak to a health visitor or a doctor as soon as possible.