Women always have a chance of experiencing depression at some point during their lifetime. Some stressful situations can increase a woman’s likelihood of experiencing depression. One of these situations includes being a mother to young children. Moreover, women are particularly susceptible to depression while experiencing familial stress, for example, isolation from family and friends, having a child with a chronic health condition, being in an abusive relationship, or caring for an elderly parent.
According to the recent reports, women experience depression at a rate of 13% in the year following childbirth. Reports reveal that the risk of developing perinatal depression is higher for a woman who has a history of depression. Moreover, the rates of depression are also high among mothers who are living in poverty. There are about 11% of low-income mothers with infants who experience severe depression, and 41% have some form of depression.
There are many signs of depression. These include prolonged sadness, low energy, crying easily, feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, trouble sleeping, and changes in appetite. Maternal depression can also have a negative impact on a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development because it affects a mother’s ability to connect with her baby or child. Therefore, it is very important for a mother experiencing depression to receive treatment for both her and her children’s wellbeing. This may include a combination of talk therapy, medication as well as social support.
What are the signs of depression?
The symptoms of depression are different for everyone. The symptoms of motherhood depression can be mild, moderate or even severe. Following are the most common signs of depression are:
-Changes in appetite, for example, eating too much or having little interest in food
-Changes in sleep for example lack of sleeping or sleeping too much
-Lack of energy
-Feeling sad, hopeless or worthless
-Crying for no reason
Sometimes, new moms face depression. As a result, they may have trouble caring for their baby. They do not spend time with their baby, which can lead to a baby who cries a lot.
How can women avoid depression?
1- Talk It Out
To prevent depression, in addition to talking to your doctor about any symptoms of distress that you’re experiencing now, the best way to prevent it is to have realistic expectations. Most of the women have less control over their day-to-day lives, which leads to anxiety and depression. Hence, the best way to avoid depression is to talk it out.
2- Learn to Chill Out
This is one of the best ways for women to avoid depression. It is a fact that newborns bond better with calm mothers. Therefore, mothers who spend at least 15 minutes every other day relaxing usually cope with the stresses of motherhood better than those who do not. Learning to relax whether by deep breathing, meditating, or soaking in the tub can help a lot.
3- Make Time to Exercise
A recent study reveals that women who exercised before and after the birth of their baby tends to feel better emotionally and are more social than women who didn’t. According to the psychologists, taking a brisk walk, getting fresh air, and enjoying nature can improve your outlook.
4- Other ways
Women can recover from depression with the treatment. This may include:
-Social support – includes community services or parenting education
-Family therapy – includes therapy with your partner/husband or children. This can help when children are older.
-Individual therapy – includes talking with a family doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or any other professional.
-Medication – includes drugs that are used most often to treat depression such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).