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Baby vs Mom Needs: Symptoms and tips to curb postpartum depression in new mothers

This article highlights the significance of addressing postpartum depression and balancing baby needs vs mom needs. To act promptly on the condition, one should know the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: June 12, 2024 19:30 IST
postpartum depression in new mothers
Image Source : FREEPIK Tips to curb postpartum depression in new mothers.

Most new moms often experience a variety of emotions after the delivery, especially postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can lead to encountering various symptoms like mood swings, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, and episodes of crying. These symptoms can make it challenging for mother to take care of themselves and their baby.  It can happen to anyone and somehow starts to develop after 1st or 2nd of the delivery. It is important to promptly spot these symptoms and seek medical guidance before it gets worsen and lead to further complications. According to Dr Swati Gaikwad, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Pune, there's a myth that postpartum depression is not as severe as other types of depression, whereas the fact is that PPD is as severe as other types of depression and should not be neglected. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression

  • Crying too much without any reason
  • Severe mood swings
  • Changes in eating pattern, eating less or too much than usual
  • Unable to sleep
  • Feeling overwhelmed with all the new mom responsibilities
  • Easily getting irritated and angry
  • Experiencing panic attacks and anxiety

Essential needs of the baby

Being fed: Babies are directly dependent on mothers for being fed or breastfeeding the milk for a few months or years. It is essential to feed them breast milk, as it contains essential nutrients and antibodies that are essential for the growth and development of the baby. The baby is supposed to be fed at least  11 times a day or even more depending on their hunger levels, for the first weeks after the delivery.

Being changed: Just like feeding, babies are also completely dependent on the mother or the family for frequent diaper or clothes changes.  Regularly change diapers after they get wet or spoiled, as the same moisture and wetness of the diaper could lead to rashes and skin allergies.  Set hygiene as a priority to safeguard babies from any type of allergies or health issues. 

Being loved:   It is crucial to communicate and cuddle with newborn babies to make them feel loved and safe. This could be achieved by daily talking to them in a sweet tone, playing with them, singing lullabies, and showing affection which can not only enhance their mood but also lead to a positive impact on their growth.

Essential needs of the mothers

Emotional and mental support: During the entire phase right from conceiving to delivering the baby, women undergo various physical and psychological changes in their bodies which mostly take a toll on their emotional health. It becomes essential to provide mothers with abundant emotional support to avoid getting into depression or anxiety. This can be achieved by simply providing them their personal space to share their feelings, it is important to deal with them by being patient and calm, and lastly validating their emotions by reassuring them that it is normal to feel a bunch of emotions all at once.

Physical support: Physically women undergo various changes, such as stretch marks, hormonal imbalance, shortness of breath, constant back pain, swelling in ankles, feet, and hands, and also major weight gain. This can lower their self-confidence and doubt their looks, it becomes essential to reassure them that these physical changes are normal and can be revered or majorly reduced by certain lifestyle modifications and exercises. 

Proper rest: Women should prioritize rest after the delivery to encourage a speedy recovery. Family members can try taking shifts in taking care of the baby especially during the night to provide them with proper rest and quality sleep. This can not only enhance their mood but also decrease their chances of getting postpartum depression. 

It is important to maintain a balance: Postpartum can be overwhelming for mothers due to new responsibilities like taking care of the baby, making sure to feed them properly, pay close attention to their movements. It is often noticed that the needs of the mothers are neglected or given less priority when it comes to taking care of newborn babies. Both the mother and baby need equal care and support from their family members and loved ones to feel loved and support healing.

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