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the 5 symptoms of postpartum depression

The 5 Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Having a baby is sold as a beautiful, joyous occasion, but you should be aware of the 5 symptoms of postpartum depression. New moms are expected to glow right after giving birth. There is much pressure to bond with their children and feel grateful for their bundle of joy. 

However, this is not always the case. The truth is that many women have described their experience after giving birth as sad, challenging, and sometimes disappointing.

Some bounce back from the blues almost instantly, and some have a few weeks of learning to adjust to their new lives. Nevertheless, for other moms, there is the scary reality of postpartum depression. 

It is essential to know that your feelings are valid after giving birth, and there is no right way to feel. You should look out for the following symptoms after giving birth. They might mean you need to seek professional assistance as soon as possible:

  • Stuck in sadness, 
  • Unable to move past negative thoughts about yourself, or
  • Negative emotions about the baby.

The Names of PPD

Postpartum is the term that refers to the mother’s journey after birth. This shouldn’t be confused with the term postnatal, which is used to refer to the baby’s journey in infancy. 

Having a baby is regarded as a time of joy for parents. The idea of a new, cute, precious baby is heart-warming for most, but unfortunately for some women, giving birth can be a traumatic experience.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression describes a range of physical and emotional changes linked to the chemical, social and primarily psychological changes associated with a newborn baby. 

Postpartum depression mostly affects mothers, but fathers can be affected too. 

Postpartum depression is treated with medication and counselling.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, the chemical changes include a rapid drop in pregnancy hormones after delivery. However, the actual link between this drop and depression is still not clear. 

It is clear that the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones that are typically increased tenfold during pregnancy, drop sharply after delivery. Just three days after a woman gives birth, hormones are back to what they were before pregnancy. 

The effects of these chemical changes, combined with the social and psychological changes a mother undergoes, increase the risk of depression.

What Are The Signs of PND?

As with normal depression, the most common symptoms of postpartum depression include more than just a persistent feeling of sadness.

Some have described feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame about having difficulty bonding with the baby.

Postpartum anxiety and depression symptoms can begin suddenly after birth or appear gradually over the weeks or months during the first year after birth.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Constant fatigue or lack of energy,
  • Lack of interest,
  • Intense irritability and anger,
  • Fear of being a bad mother,
  • Intense, sudden mood swings,
  • Constant crying,
  • Difficulty bonding with the new baby,
  • Withdrawal from family and friends,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Excessive eating,
  • Insomnia,
  • Hypersomnia, and
  • A feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, shame and other negative feelings.

Untreated postpartum depression can be dangerous. If you feel suicidal or can’t stop thinking about hurting your child, you may be experiencing something even more serious.

Postpartum Psychosis

With postpartum psychosis, moms are at risk of harming their children. They are usually disorientated or have lost a sense of reality. This happens in rare cases if PPD is left untreated. Postpartum psychosis requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms include:

  • Confusion and disorientation,
  • Obsessive thoughts about your baby,
  • Hallucinations and delusions,
  • Sleep disturbances,
  • Excessive energy and agitation,
  • Paranoia, and
  • Attempts to harm yourself or your baby.

Does Affinity Health Have Maternity Benefits?

Affinity Health has maternity benefits to make the postpartum journey less stressful. There are many costs around pregnancy and birth, which can cause stress and anxiety. 

Having the right cover ensures that some of these costs are covered – and members don’t have to worry about money.

Both natural birth and cesarean section deliveries include several physicians, experts and assistants.

Without medical insurance, you will need to spend thousands of Rands out of pocket. This excludes the many things that the baby will need once it is here. 

Affinity Health moms have comprehensive maternity and postpartum benefits. The benefits come with support and 24/7 access, and include the following:

  • Growth sonars when referred by your GP, 
  • Screening and blood tests, and
  • Health advice and guidance via Affinity’s Telehealth Call Centre. 

You can also use the Affinity App or website. 

The Maternity Programme Information

Members are able to register for the Affinity Health Maternity Programme at www.Affinityhealth.co.za or on the Affinity App.

You can also call the Affinity Health Maternity Team on 0861 210 211.

A child dependent added to this policy will be registered automatically.

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