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Baby blues : The mother needs help!

Motherhood is the best dream that comes true when baby is in mother\’s hands. This is the sentence we love to read ,hear and of course want to experience in our and our beloved people\’s lives.But for many of them the grass is greener on the other side of mountain.What if the dream turned out little scarier, little different what one had not thought of?

Many of the readers, I  am sure have not heard or read about this word Baby Blues! While celebrating and dreaming the pregnancy and arrival of baby the much important part sadly gets neglected. The sudden change in the life and the situation around them is hardly ever explained or discussed by the concern and relevant people with the future parents.

Recently I came across many cases of post natal depression or baby blues! The disturbed mental health of mother immediately after the delivery is called postpartum depression or in layman\’s language it is known as Baby Blues.

In simple language and in short lets see what is this whole thing all about?

The unstable mental health of mother in two weeks after the delivery which needs intervention and help of medical assistance is known as postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is an umbrella which covers various mental disorders from simple mood changes to severe postpartum psychosis. The postpartum psychosis is a sever condition and need expert attention.

In this blog we are trying to understand the mild to moderate mental depression which usually recovers in some weeks or months by assistance and proper guidance.

What are the signs of Baby blues?

For every mother the initial days are difficult to cop with her own body and the new tiny life. But some mothers are susceptible for more severe expressions of the hormonal changes and the situation generated difficulties. Following are the general symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Excess worry,
  • Unexplained sadness
  • Irritability
  • Fear that you\’re not a good mother
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling guilty of something
  • Absence of emotional attachment with baby
  • Excessive and involuntary crying
  • Reduced concentration
  • Appetite problems
  • Trouble in sleeping though baby sleeps

What are the reasons ?

  • Unintended or unwelcome pregnancy;
  • unemployment or other financial issues
  • Marital or family differences
  • No assistance in raising the baby.
  • No support from family or partner in physical as well as mental comforting.
  • No lactation, difficulties in breastfeeding.
  • Baby with physical abnormality or other health ailment.
  • Health problems of mother herself.
  • Personal coping attitude to the situation
  • Longer time to conception.
  • High expectations from the people,situations and self.
  • Previous history of mental illness.

Ayurveda has a strong theory around this particular situation.The woman after delivery is vulnerable body and mind need to be protected with utmost care till 2 months is the verse in Ayurveda books. The sudden and extreme changes in the Vata Dosha occurs in the body in the process of birth giving. The above symptoms are described as the Grah dosha or Grah badha. No significant organism but body\’s own delicate condition can be affected and reflected in behavior. A proper care through Aashwasana chikitsa (counseling), Medhya dravya (medicine working on brain) and Dhupana (Aroma stimulus) and other treatments are thoroughly discussed.

How it should be managed ?

  • Antenatal(during pregnancy) care plays an important role in educating the patients.Time to time talking with the patient about the minute changes happening with her and the fetus will benefit the lady to understand the reality and will develop a conscious responsibility.
  • It is always wise to talk about the baby blues with the woman in advance. The gynecologist and the team need to give ample time to their patients to explain these issues. Physical checkup,ultra sonography and other reports are given importance but these issues are neglected sadly by almost all doctors.
  • The risk factors and risk category patients can be identified in the antenatal care itself. Earliest is better!But the psychological aspects are surpassed in the followups with the gynecologist.
  • Gynacs ,talk with your patient, give them ample time which they genuinely belong when they come to you.
  • The support system should be built right from the pregnancy.
  • As family ,the family members plays the most crucial role in handling the blues.Emotional support , identifying that the lady is not well is also very important step.
  • Seeking proper help of doctors, psychologist or psychiatrist(in sever depression)instead of neglecting or blaming each other is anytime good.Ayurveda has its own unique way to handle as explained above.

Words for mother!

  • Don\’t treat yourself as a superwoman. Accept the limitations and learn to see the reality.
  • The tiresome routine and drastic change around you is not constant. It will pass.
  • Give your body and mind time and enough rest to get back in to sound health. Don\’t set unrealistic goals for yourself.
  • Compromising some fun for sometime is not punishment.
  • Don\’t try to overburden yourself as a parent or person
  • Seek the proper help and neglect things around that bothers you and are not much important.
  • Your sound health will raise the healthy and happy baby.

Role of society,culture and customs.

I read some research papers which had hypothesis that some customs and social behavior said to protect the mother from such emotional roller coaster ride.The customs like

  • Keeping baby and mother in house for 1.5 months and avoid direct contact with many people at a time.
  • Madatory rest to mother in this peroid.
  • Assistance in baby raising and other homely tasks by family members.
  • Social recognition, love ,gifts and blessing rituals
  • Practises like baby and mother massage relieves the physical as well mental stress.
  • Certain pattern of food and other customs take care of lactation and gut health too.

Mother should be loved,cared and supported the same way we do for baby!Wishing every would be and present mother a lovely motherhood!

(Above writeup belongs to Dr.Rupali Panse. It is protected by copyright. Share the blog as it is without changing the author name and information)

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