Postpartum means the time after childbirth.
Most women feel sad or empty, within a few days of giving birth. For many women, the baby blues go away in 3 to 5 days. If your baby blues don’t go away or you feel sad, hopeless, or empty for longer than 2 weeks, you may have postpartum depression.
Men may not experience the pain of childbirth or need physical recovery, but the presence of a new child is a major life change. A Father also must spend on their mental health. Exhaustion and stress, in addition to other factors, can lead to men’s postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a treatable psychological disorder. It can be managed effectively, and feel better. But first and foremost, it is important to reach out to healthcare providers and ask for help.
Do not struggle with postpartum depression alone. It is not your fault that you are depressed, and being depressed does not make you a bad parent. The chemical changes involve an immediate drop in hormones after delivery.
The actual link between this drop and depression is still not clear. But what is known is that the levels of estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones, increase tenfold during pregnancy. Then, they drop sharply after delivery. By 3 days after a woman gives birth, the levels of these hormones drop back to what they were before pregnancy.
Postpartum Depression Causes and Risk Factors
If you have Postpartum Depression, it’s not because you did anything wrong. Experts think it happens for many reasons, and those can be different for different people.
Some things that can raise the chances of postpartum depression include
- A history of depression before becoming pregnant, or during pregnancy,
- Age at the time of pregnancy, like the younger you are, the higher the chances,
- Ambivalence about the pregnancy,
- Children: the more you have, the more likely you are to be depressed in later pregnancy,
- Family history of mood disorders,
- Going through an extremely stressful event, like a job loss or health crisis,
- Having a child with unique deficiencies or health problems,
- Having twins or triplets,
- Having a history of depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder,
- Limited social support,
- Living alone.
If you’re a new father experiencing stubborn and ongoing symptoms of depression, you have to report to your doctor, or health professional. Depression doesn’t go away on its own, so the shorter you are diagnosed, the sooner you can start treatment and reduce symptoms.
Symptoms for Male Postpartum Depression
- A significant change in hunger
- Weight change
- Inability to sleep
- Unexpected pains
- Loss of energy
- Feeling restless or nervous
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling helpless or guilty
- Extreme worrying
- Unable to concentrate or make decisions
- Sudden mood changes.
Types of Postpartum Depression
There are three major terms to describe the mood changes women can have after giving birth:
The “baby blues” happen to as many as 70% of women in the days right after childbirth. You may have sudden mood swings, such as feeling very happy and then feeling very sad.
You may cry for no reason and can feel impatient, cranky, restless, anxious, lonely, and sad. The baby blues may last only a few hours or as long as 1 to 2 weeks after delivery. Usually, you don’t need treatment for baby blues.
Postpartum depression (PPD) can happen a few days or even months after childbirth. PPD can happen after the birth of any child, not just the first child. You can have feelings similar to the baby blues like sadness, discomfort, stress, and crankiness, but you feel them much more strongly.
PPD often keeps you from doing the things you need to do every day. The doctor can screen you for depression symptoms and come up with a treatment plan. If you don’t get treatment for PPD, symptoms can get more threatening. While PPD is a serious condition, it can be treated with medication and counseling.
Postpartum psychosis is a very serious mental condition that can affect new mothers. This disease can occur quickly, often within the first 3 months after childbirth. Women can lose contact with reality, have auditory hallucinations like hearing things that aren’t happening, like a person talking, and have delusions such as strongly believing irrational things.
Other symptoms include sleeplessness, feeling agitated and angry, pacing, restlessness, and abnormal feelings and behaviors. Women who have postpartum psychosis need treatment right away and almost always need medication. Sometimes women are put into the hospital because they are at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.
Tips to overcome Postpartum Depression
When men suffer from postpartum depression, accurate care can affect their ability to function and properly care for their partner and child.
Few remedies to overcome PPD:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthy foods
- Maintaining healthy sleep habits
- Talking about and expressing feelings
For men, it may be difficult to ask for help, specifically when their partner is going through so many changes and needs their support.
While it’s important to care for your partner and child following childbirth, men need to recognize their own mental health needs and find healthy ways to manage symptoms of depression.
A Word at Conclusion
Male postpartum depression can go undiagnosed for many months or years, but it’s easily treatable. If you are a new father undergoing symptoms of depression, talk to your primary care physician or mental health professional.
If your loved one expresses concern over your mental health, then it’s important to seek professional help so you can better care for yourself, your partner, and your new child.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does postpartum mean?
“Postpartum” means the time after childbirth. Most women get the “baby blues,” or feel sad or empty, within a few days of giving birth.
Why do people suffer from postpartum?
During pregnancy, your body has higher levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. But in the first 24 hours after giving birth, these hormones quickly drop to their normal levels, which causes postpartum.
What happens when a woman has postpartum?
Most new moms undergo postpartum after childbirth, which includes mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
How long does it take to get over postpartum?
The postpartum period generally includes the first 4 to 6 weeks after birth, and many cases of Postpartum Depression begin during that time.
How do you take care of postpartum?
- Get as much rest as you can.
- Accept help from friends and family.
- Eat healthy meals.
- Get some exercise.
- Spend some time with your partner.
What is the meaning of baby blues?
Baby blues are feelings of sadness that you may have in the first few days after having a baby.
What is the difference between postpartum and postnatal?
The “postpartum” refers to issues about the mother and “postnatal” refers to those concerning the baby.
What is the definition of postpartum psychosis?
Postpartum psychosis is a mental health condition that can affect someone after having a baby.