Postpartum Depression In Nigeria

Childbirth comes with a lot of emotions. For some, it’s a breeze; for others, it comes with certain complications. No one talks about the whirlwind of emotions you experience as a new mother. No one certainly talks about the anxiety, depression and confusion you have to manage. If left untreated, it could lead to postpartum depression. 


Most Nigerians believe there isn’t a thing such as postpartum depression. To most, you’re either bewitched or evil for neglecting your child. Such symptoms can be linked to postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a type of depression that affects 20-30% of Nigerian women. Unfortunately, only 1in 5 of these women seek medical care. This could be as a result of stigmatization, fear, etc. This article explains postpartum depression, its symptoms, and more.


What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is the social and psychological changes related to having a child or during pregnancy. Postpartum depression shouldn’t be mistaken for baby blues. Postpartum baby blues often occurs in first-time moms. They are usually restless, anxious and experience difficulty in sleeping. It occurs for 2 to 3 days after childbirth. 


Some moms experience a longer-lasting form of baby blues, postpartum depression. Some moms may experience a more severe form of postpartum depression known as peripartum depression. It usually starts in pregnancy till after childbirth. Sometimes, a dangerous mood disorder known as postpartum psychosis may also develop after childbirth. 


Postpartum depression isn’t madness. It may also result from complications from childbirth. If you or anyone around you is going through postpartum depression, seek help. If you live in an unresponsive environment, talk to a psychiatrist. 


What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Before looking at the symptoms of postpartum depression, we have to list the symptoms of baby blues to see how they differ. 


Symptoms of baby blues

  • Crying
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleeping problems


Symptoms of postpartum depression

These symptoms may be mistaken for baby blues. However, they are more intense and may start during pregnancy, a few weeks after childbirth or a year after childbirth. Some common symptoms include;

  • Severe mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fear of harming your child
  • Self-doubt about being a good mother
  • Panic attacks
  • Low level of concentration
  • Anger issues
  • Self-guilt
  • Withdrawal from baby
  • Withdrawal from daily members and friends
  • Stays alone
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much. May develop an eating disorder


Postpartum depression in fathers

Postpartum depression doesn’t affect only women. In fact, research shows that more young fathers go through postpartum depression. They feel extremely sad, tired, anxious and restless. Young fathers who may have experienced depression in their lives, struggling financially, or had relationship problems are at more risk of postpartum depression. 


It is sometimes called paternal postpartum depression. It should be handled the same way as postpartum depression in women, as they both have the same symptoms. Fathers going through this should speak to a healthcare professional for better treatment.



What are the risk factors for getting postpartum depression?


Various components can expand the danger of post-birth anxiety, including;


  • A past filled with gloom preceding getting to be pregnant or amid pregnancy
  • Having a background marked by dejection or premenstrual dysphoric confusion (PMDD)
  • Constrained social help
  • Living alone
  • Conjugal conflict 
  • A past filled with sadness before getting to be pregnant or amid pregnancy
  • Age at the time of pregnancy – the more youthful you are, the higher the hazard
  • Indecision about the pregnancy
  • The more kids you have, the more likely you will be discouraged in a resulting pregnancy.
  • Having a past filled with wretchedness or premenstrual dysphoric confusion (PMDD)
  • Constrained social help
  • Living alone


Way forward

Postpartum depression can be challenging to combat. Sometimes, these men or women will be in denial. Help them seek appropriate attention. Never invalidate their feelings. Babymigo cares.

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