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Up to 30 percent of women suffer from postpartum depression. Expert comments

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Newborns cry and demand care, and their mothers do not react – they lie down, have neither the desire nor the strength to get up. Postpartum depression has many faces, and sometimes it’s hard to recognize them. The data shows that from 10 to even 30 percent of new mothers suffer from this disease. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

When she became pregnant, she was in the senior class and soon found out that the child’s father did not want to participate in raising their common daughter. – I didn’t know what we were going to eat. I didn’t know what to wear to my baby. I didn’t know how I was going to raise them,” says Magdalena.

“I was just terrified of it all. The first months were a time of crying and sleeping and trying to finish school – she adds.

More than 30 years have passed since then, but the memories of difficult emotions are still alive for Mrs. Magdalena. She remembers well that she wished the child would simply disappear. – It was already a very advanced pregnancy, seven or eight months. I really wanted to give birth, even ahead of time – she recalls.

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– It didn’t matter to me whether the baby was born on time or prematurely. For me, the sooner the better. I remember a moment when I was sitting in my parents’ room and at some point I started to cry and hit my stomach with my fists – she adds.

When the young mother returned home with the newborn, she was happy, but only that her belly was gone. She didn’t feel a bond with her child, and she blamed herself for it. “My daughter was in the other room crying and I didn’t respond. I didn’t want to go to her, I didn’t want to take her in my arms – she admits.

– I didn’t want to feed her again, change her, and she cried so much that when I finally went to her, she choked from crying, she was livid and red. Then I was terrified,” she says.

What is postnatal depression

Now she knows it was postpartum depression. At that time, she had no idea where to look for help. She did not use the help of a psychotherapist until many years later. The state of emotional instability after childbirth lasting several days is completely natural and happens to many mothers – this is the so-called baby blues.

– We define it as a physiological condition that results from large fluctuations in hormones that occur in a woman right after giving birth and it does not actually require treatment, only careful observation – says the national consultant in the field of psychiatry, Prof. Piotr Gałecki.

Up to 30 percent of women suffer from postpartum depressionStock-Asso/Shutterstock

If the condition not only does not go away, but intensifies, it may be a sign that you need to seek help. According to psychiatrists, from 10 to 30 percent. mothers suffer from postpartum depression.

– If the mother is sad, cries, is irritable, says: “I am not suitable for motherhood, I am a bad mother, I do not want to take care of this child”, she must be strongly motivated to get involved in motherhood at all and this state lasts a month after childbirth or up to a year after childbirth, this is a cause for concern – says Anna Morawska-Borowiec from the Faces of Depression Foundation.

Postnatal depression campaign theme

And it is the topic of depression during pregnancy and after childbirth that the new campaign of the Faces of Depression Foundation deals with: “We have nothing to be ashamed of”. This is one of the most silent topics regarding mental health – says Anna Morawska-Borowiec.

– Moms are very ashamed to say that they struggle with postpartum depression. Families often lack understanding and acceptance for them. They say: “you have a child – enjoy, don’t cry, get a grip, pull yourself together”. This is the worst thing a mother can hear, because she is already depressed, points out Anna Morawska-Borowiec.

The development of postpartum depression is influenced by numerous factors: the young age of the mother, the difficult socio-economic situation of the woman, or single motherhood, as well as mental disorders in the past. It can also be difficult for a woman to experience pregnancy and childbirth – says Justyna Dąbrowska, psychotherapist and author of the book “I will take you to the other shore”.

– He hears, for example, the phrase: “All because you pushed badly.” How can you go wrong? Pushing is an instinctive activity. On the other hand, if she hears such words, they can sink inward due to the state of great sensitivity during childbirth and then she returns home with it – explains Justyna Dąbrowska.

Untreated postpartum depression can permanently destabilize the family, suicidal thoughts may appear in the mother and the bond with the child may be disturbed. Professional help for such a person can be provided by a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist.

– This help must be sought relatively quickly, if the symptoms persist for a few days or weeks and they are significantly intensified, and related to the person’s great suffering, then there is no need to wait – indicates the psychiatrist Dr. Hab. Slawomir Murawiec.

Main photo source: Stock-Asso/Shutterstock

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