Postnatal depression in new mothers is a rather common condition. Read on to know the treatment for postnatal depression in women.
Postnatal depression, or postpartum depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect both men and women after child birth. However, it is very less frequent in men as compared to women, in whom the prevalence rate may vary from 5% to 25%. If a new mother in your family is suffering from postnatal depression, it is difficult to deal with her as she may not even want to admit that she is depressed. But the family and friends of the new mother must be supportive and lovingly help her to sail through this phase. There are numerous ways that family and friends can help and support a mother going through postnatal depression. Here are some tips on how to help a new mother suffering from post-natal depression.
Postnatal Depression in Women
The family members and friends of a new mother should help her in the following ways to cope with post natal depression.
- Allow and help the mother to express her anxieties openly. Do not disregard them, as they are real to her.
- A new mother, going through postnatal depression, may find it difficult to cope with it alone. Make sure that there is someone with her at all times.
- Encourage her in whatever she is doing and praise her when she is making a sincere effort. Try not to sound patronizing.
- Do not force her to do anything she does not want to.
- Ask her to take time off and go out with friends, while someone takes care of the baby.
- Do not say things that will reinforce the feeling of guilt, which is already present because she is unable to appreciate and enjoy the presence of the baby.
- Do not point out mistakes she makes, jobs she hasn't been able to finish or comment on the way she looks. She maybe feeling miserable just watching you do things more efficiently than she can.
- Be sensitive enough to understand when she needs help and when she wants to be left alone.
- Help in running the house and the care of other children. Shop for the things the new baby needs.
Postpartum Depression Treatment
Postnatal depression is such an illness that it can easily be hidden from family and friends. In most cases, the women are so ashamed and guilt ridden about the way they feel that they do not ask for help at all. Many doctors have started screening women for postnatal depression with the help of a simple questionnaire. This is being done to help those who require it. Help is offered through counseling, forming support groups or use of medication.
- Counseling: In this form of the treatment, the mother is encouraged to talk openly and honestly about her feelings. The therapist listens to her without being judgmental or critical. Then, he tries to find a suitable solution to help the depressed new mother feel better.
- Support Groups: Meeting and talking to others who are going through the same experience gives the mother an opportunity to realize that she is not the only one going through postnatal depression.
- Medication: Doctors usually prescribe anti-depression or hormones, or even Prozac. But studies show that these medications are not good for the baby, as the mother is breastfeeding. Counseling and support groups can help just as efficiently in recovery.
Tips For Mothers Suffering From Postnatal Depression
- Talk about your feelings to anyone who will give you a patient hearing. It would be best to talk to your husband or a friend. You may talk to your doctor as well.
- Just take care of yourself and remember that what you are going through is not your fault.
- Doctors have found that joining exercise classes, yoga or a walking club helps new mothers to relax and also helps them recover easily from depression.
- Keep in mind that this is just a passing phase and that you will get better, even if it takes time. Recovery may be speedy if you ask for help and support from family, or even take professional help.