Postpartum Depression: Why Some Mothers Must First Learn To Love Their Children

Nine months have passed, finally the baby is here. A true miracle. And now?
Shouldn’t an indescribable feeling of happiness actually set in now?
A howling misery, instead of radiant happiness – but what’s actually going on?

Postpartum Depression: It Can Affect Any Woman

Not every mother experiences the postpartum maternal bliss that is generally taken for granted. For about 15 percent of all mothers, it is the beginning of psychological problems. However, the number of unreported cases is higher. After all, which mother likes to admit to herself and others that instead of the expected happiness, she feels only frustration and excessive demands?

It is true that many mothers experience a phase in the first period in which they are moody, anxious, and tearful, but this so-called“baby blues” subsides on its own.
However, if the depressive symptoms persist, it may be postpartum depression.

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Characteristic Symptoms

Symptoms vary from woman to woman and sometimes occur only sporadically.
However, depression usually manifests itself in excessive demands, sadness, irritability, exhaustion, and ambivalent feelings towards the child. Other signs may include extreme anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, inner emptiness, as well as Suicidal thoughts may be. Also possible is a general lack of interest. Affected persons often neglect themselves and are apathetic towards their children. Many mothers take care of their child correctly, but like a doll, without a personal connection.

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has proven useful for assessing the situation.

Too Much Or Too Little Love

Postpartum depression usually occurs in the first few weeks after birth. However, it can continue to occur for up to a year afterward. It often involves mothers who find it difficult to bond with their children. About 30 percent of all affected women develop an attachment disorder. Many women are simply completely overwhelmed by their role as mothers. They constantly doubt their own abilities and are afraid that they won’t be able to take care of their baby properly or that they will harm it. This worry makes them sleepless.

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Many Hide Their Condition

In our society, it is still common that a woman has to be happy after giving birth. Therefore, women try to hide their depressed state and maintain the image of a happy mother. In doing so, it is important that these mothers talk about their feelings and seek support.

Causes And Risk Factors

The causes of postpartum depression can vary widely. A difficult life situation, relationship conflicts, as well as a lack of support, can promote it. A previous mental illness or one in the family can also be a risk factor.
In most cases, however, there are several things that cause mothers to slip into a state of mental emergency. The key is realizing that they are not alone.

Treatment

The individual treatment for postpartum depression depends on its severity. Sometimes it can already help if women get support with baby care and household chores to alleviate the symptoms.
Affected women need space for their sadness. Depending on the doctor’s recommendation and preference, various forms of therapy are possible, such as talk therapy. If necessary, women also receive antidepressants.
In severe cases, inpatient treatment in a mother-child clinic is necessary. Mothers are treated without having to be separated from the child.

Are There Things I Can Do To Prevent Postpartum Depression?

No. It is difficult to prepare for the postpartum period because it turns everything upside down all over again. You can try not to have too high expectations of yourself. Nobody is perfect and nobody is born a mother.
But one thing is clear: happy mothers, have happy children. That’s why it’s important that the mother is doing well in the long run. No woman has to master the path to this goal alone. Affected women are not simply weak, incapable, or cold, they are sick and need appropriate help. And no one should feel ashamed or guilty about this.

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