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Postpartum depression - understanding and coping

Depression can result from various factors, ranging from hormonal changes to lack of support. Managing these challenges can be difficult, but it's crucial to remember that help is available. Seeking support is a vital step towards well-being for both you and your child. For more support and information on postpartum depression, download the LEIA Health-app




Postpartum depression

Depression can be influenced by bodily factors such as hormones or sleep deprivation. It can also stem from other sources. Here are examples of factors that may contribute to postpartum depression:

  • A difficult pregnancy, childbirth, or adoption.

  • Challenges with feeding the baby. Breastfeeding may be difficult to establish.

  • Doubts about your ability to care for the baby.

  • Ambivalence about having a child in the first place.

  • Lack of support from loved ones.

  • A baby who cries frequently or has difficulty feeding/sleeping.

  • Personal conflicts or difficulties unrelated to the baby.

  • Past mental health issues or traumas.

  • Thyroid dysfunction.

Often, multiple factors contribute to depression. Sometimes, the exact cause of depression cannot be pinpointed. While giving birth can be one of life's most joyous moments, it can also be a challenging time for many parents. For some, it can lead to postpartum depression, which requires specialized support and treatment. However, it's essential to seek help if you recognize yourself in the above points.

 

How do I manage my postpartum depression?

Giving birth is a significant strain both mentally and physically. It's not uncommon to feel down or depressed after childbirth. Taking care of yourself and your well-being, especially if you experience symptoms of postpartum depression, is crucial. If you feel mentally unstable, seeking help is vital. There's no shame in asking for support, and it doesn't mean you're a bad parent. On the contrary, taking care of your well-being is crucial to being a good parent to your child. Various forms of treatment and support are available if you're struggling with postpartum depression.

Here are some ways to manage and treat postpartum depression:

Screening for postpartum depression

Six to eight weeks after childbirth, all parents should fill out a form to be screened for postpartum depression. This is done at the Baby clinic, and the form is called EPDS (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale). This form is designed to detect signs of depression in new parents and is available in several languages. After the screening, you can discuss the results with a nurse and receive further support and assistance if needed. Baby clinic can facilitate contact with a psychologist or doctor.


Therapy

Feeling heard is important. Talk therapy can be very helpful. In therapy, you meet with a nurse, doctor, psychologist, or counselor. You meet several times and discuss what feels difficult, where you can get help finding solutions to your problems. It can be a good idea to come to the conversation without your baby if possible.


Medication

Some cases may require medical treatment. There are medications that can help you feel better and are safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Your doctor can guide you through the various options, and medication is often combined with talk therapy for the best results.


Support for partner or Co-parent

Partners or co-parents can also receive support. At the baby clinic, you can receive individual support and counseling to handle the challenges that may arise after childbirth. There, you may fill out a screening form. It contains various questions and answer options. The form is about how difficult you find things like feeling down, sleep, and concentration.


Contact your healthcare center, your midwife, or a psychologist if you suspect you have depression, and download the LEIA Health-app to do the depression screening.


"Thanks to the depression screening in the LEIA Health app, i was able to seek help in time for my postpartum depression, which I didn't realize I had. It was thanks to the screening in the app that I truly understood how I was really feeling!''




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