Postpartum depression, when the baby is not enjoyed

If the birth of a baby does not make the mother overflowing with joy but irritable, apathetic and very sad, is not a bad mother, is suffering from postpartum depression. This happens to thousands of women after giving birth and has a solution

Every 7th of April , the World Health Day is celebrated to commemorate the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) , an event that focuses, in each edition, on an issue of interest to the people of the Five continents. This year, the central issue is depression , which affects people of any age, social status and all countries.

Postpartum depression

View of the work: Mother Child; Of David Alfaro Siqueiros (1936) during the exhibition; He paints the Mexican Modern Art Revolution, (1910-1950, at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, Mexico).

“The depression causes psychological distress  and affects the ability of people to perform even the simplest daily tasks, which sometimes has adverse effects on relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living” , Details the WHO.

This entity emphasizes that depression should not be confused with habitual variations of mood or with specific emotional responses to the problems of everyday life.

“Depression can become a serious problem , especially when it is long lasting and of moderate or severe intensity. It can cause great suffering and disrupt work, school and family activities. In the worst case, it can lead to suicide, “he says.

A common type of depression is postpartum depression , according to WHO data, occurs in one of every six women who give birth.

“Having a baby is a vital event of the first order and can cause worry, fatigue and sadness . Usually these feelings do not last long but if they persist they may indicate that you are suffering from depression, “warns the WHO.

The “baby blues”

Similarly, the team of psychologists at Calma , a center of psychology specializing in maternity and located in Madrid explains that the differences between the so-called “baby blues” and postpartum depression lie in the duration and intensity.



One of the posters of the WHO for this year 2017 on the postpartum depression. Photo courtesy

“The ‘baby blues’ is a picture that has depressive symptoms such as crying, susceptibility, sadness or relatively mild mood swings. It starts within the first few days after delivery and remits spontaneously within a few days . If the symptomatology becomes more intense and persists, then we could be talking about postpartum depression, “he says.

In addition, specialists Calma indicate that the most common symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • Sadness
  • Apathy
  • Loss of ability to enjoy things
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Loss or increase in appetite
  • Difficulty connecting to baby
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Irritability

There are some women who are at greater risk of postpartum depression; In this sense, the psychologists of Calma point out that there are factors that must be taken into account:

  1. Having had anxiety or depression in pregnancy or another time in life.
  2. Having a bad relationship, loneliness or lack of social support.
  3. It influences having had difficulties in the delivery or with the baby, for example, that this one is premature or that was born with some problem.
  4. Have a history of major losses in the past unresolved, such as the death of someone very close, abortions, etc.

However, postpartum depression does not have a single cause, but is a result of a combination of physical and emotional factors , says the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States . In this sense, it warns that it does not happen for something that a mother does or does not do.

Multiple causes of postpartum depression

Similarly, Calma’s psychologists explain that, like any psycho-pathological picture , postpartum depression is the result of multiple causes.

Depression after childbirth“These are complex phenomena that can not establish a linear cause-effect relationship, but biological factors , social (support network versus solitude, idealization and high unrealistic expectations) and psychological (life history, stressful life factors, resources Of coping …) are interrelated in a complex way “, they clarify.

“Postpartum depression is a serious picture that has consequences , not only for the mother , who feels very bad and is not able to enjoy her baby, but also affects the newborn , the couple and the family, ” indicate The Calma experts.

“As for the baby, we can say that a depressed mother has, in general, more problems to relate to her child in an adequate way: difficulties in the look, less verbalizations, expressions of affection and physical contact. Children are specialists in perceiving the emotional states of their primary caregivers and, therefore, the baby notices that he has a depressed mother “, they emphasize.

However, postpartum depression can be treated : “The best thing would be to have a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in psychotherapy and specialized in perinatal mental health who values ​​the situation individually and accompany the woman in her puerperium, face To be solving the difficulties of each case, “comment the psychologists of Calma.

“If the symptoms are very intense, the psychological treatment can be accompanied by pharmacological treatment , but this is not necessary in many cases,” they point out.

In addition to treatment, there are other factors that can help women overcome postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression

One of the posters of the WHO for this year 2017 on the postpartum depression. Photo courtesy

Thus, Calma’s psychologists recommend that, as far as possible and whenever she wants, it is the mother who takes care of her child . “This will favor the creation of a positive bond for both mother and baby,” they say.

“Support and having a social network of containment is another key to overcoming the picture. The mother must have people in her environment with which to count without feeling judged but understood and valued in her new role as mother, “they indicate.

They also point out that if you do not have those people to help you, “you can sign up for some activity where there are mothers like her, for example, pilates or yoga for moms, lactation or parenting groups, etc. This is a powerful protective and therapeutic factor, “they say.

Similarly, WHO recommends maintaining contact and spending time with family and friends , as well as talking to other mothers with whom to share experiences and going outdoors when possible.

“In safe environments, taking a walk with your child is good for both,” he says. The WHO sends a message to women who, after giving birth, feel depressed: “If you think about hurting yourself or your baby, ask for help immediately.”