Have you heard of “perinatal depression“? Perinatal depression is a very common complication of pregnancy and childbirth. This word has attracted more and more people’s attention in this modern society, as it is not only a personal problem, but also a social problem now. We often think that depression is only for new mothers, but no, new dads can deal with depression, too. Perinatal depression is just as common as a cold and, like a cold, it can clear up quickly with proper understanding, rest and care.
Most mothers develop symptoms of baby blues, an early depressive mood, around the third day after giving birth. This mood usually gets better in the short term. It’s a temporary bad mood that can happen to anyone. If there is no improvement in the short term, the depression will continue. Then, the risk of developing depression increases with physical illness and fatigue, lack of support, stress, etc. Therefore, maternal self-healing and family support at this stage is very important.
Many people may think that the risk of getting depression is only after giving birth, but that’s not true. Depression can also occur during pregnancy, known as prenatal depression. Risk factors include a history or family history of depression, pregnancy not being a happy event for the family, having a miscarriage, being a perfectionist, and relationship tensions. So, in the absence of a supportive and caring environment, a pregnant woman may feel that life is about to face an unknown major change, thus, insecurity is very likely to lead to depression or anxiety.
Therefore, after the birth of the child, the family should try to give equal attention to both the child and the mother, making her feel that she is loved and not just a “tool” to give birth. Family members should give new parents emotional support and help with life and parenting, and not only care whether the mother’s milk is sufficient to feed the child. Let the mother take her own best way to breastfeed.
As for depression in new fathers, risk factors include a history or family history of depression, financial stress, lack of sleep, dysfunctional family relationships, self-blame over role reversals, and bad relationships with one’s own parents. Although the percentage of new fathers who experience perinatal depression is very small, it can’t be ignored, because a family needs a healthy father and a healthy mother to raise a healthy child.
In this age of rapid development, there are still many ignorant people. Please do not easily put the mothers’ emotions in the “hypocritical”, your words may easily let a depressed mother be in psychological breakdown. At last, the improvement of this social problem requires everyone to make efforts to build a healthy social living environment.