Postpartum Depression: Of course you'll have mood changes. You pushed a semi-truck out of a compact car-sized parking space.
Having a child is one miracle in this lifetime that happens on a daily basis to thousands of women all over the globe. But despite the joy of bringing a child in the world, many may say the act of giving birth isn’t the most “beautiful” thing in the world.
I know I don’t have to go into gory detail, but let’s just say, the female body goes through many extreme changes while giving birth. So, it’s not hard to believe that, after giving birth, emotions may be very out of whack. After all, what can you expect when you just had a human being growing inside your body. And then, in metaphorical terms, you had to push a semi-truck out of a compact car-sized parking space. This is a stressful life event if I have ever seen one.
Although I myself have never had a child (and do not plan to for a very, very long time — emphasis on the “very, very”), I do not think people (*cough*cough* especially men) understand that this bodily change can very likely affect a woman’s emotions both during and after the pregnancy. And this is no joking matter. Side note: yes, when she is craving something ridiculous like pickles and peanut butter — get it for her!
Women’s Health shows that 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers suffer from depression. Depression after childbirth is called postpartum depression, and hormonal changes may trigger symptoms of postpartum depression. This is because, when a woman is pregnant, levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone increase greatly. And within the first 24 hours of childbirth, these levels quickly go back to normal.
Other than the obviously bad news of how much this sucks for the mother, a recent study shows even more bad news. WXYZ reports that a mother’s postpartum depression may affect her child’s growth later in life. Researchers found that the children of mothers who suffer from postpartum depression for at least nine months were shorter later in life than children of mother’s who did not suffer from depression.
What can be done:
If you’re a significant other or family member of a woman suffering from depression, you need to help her identify this. She may not even realize it herself. A woman should not be alone in raising a child in the first place. SHE NEEDS HELP!
If you are personally suffering from postpartum depression, visit http://www.postpartum.net/ for resources.