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Postnatal Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression And Postpartum Psychosis — What Are The Differences?

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Women are indeed stronger than men. Look at how bravely they endure the physical and emotional challenges of the childbearing and birthing processes, and adjusting to all the aches and pains brought about by hormonal imbalances.

But what others may not know are the continued risks of pregnancy, like postnatal depression, that could potentially cost their lives when left untreated.

Postpartum Baby Blues

Postpartum baby blues is a normal adjustment stage of a woman's body and mind which develops between the first month to one year after the baby’s birth and lasts for 2 to 3 days. Moms would experience mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, overwhelming feeling about mommy duties, crying for no reason, reduced concentration, loss of appetite and sleeping problems.

Postpartum Depression

When the ‘baby blues’ last beyond the 3-day period, it may be a sign of postpartum depression. The symptoms can be more intense like depressed severe mood swings, excessive crying, difficulty in caring for the baby, withdrawing from family and friends, either loss of appetite or excessive eating, either inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, fatigue or loss of energy, reduced interest to engage usual activities, intense irritability and anger, insecurity or fear of being a mother, feeling of worthlessness, shame, guilt and inadequacy, inability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions, severe anxiety or panic attacks, thoughts of harming oneself or the baby and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, which may last up to 6 months.

Postpartum Psychosis

If untreated, postpartum depression may lead to postpartum psychosis. The signs and symptoms are much more severe. Mothers exhibit alarming signs and symptoms like confusion and disorientation, obsessive thoughts about the baby, hallucinations and delusions, sleep disturbances, paranoia and attempts to harm herself or the baby.

Postpartum is an inevitable process, but certain things can be done to reduce its risks.

  • Learn and educate yourself about prenatal and postnatal processes to recognize the occurring signs and symptoms, and be able to cope with each by seeking proper advice and counseling from medical authorities.

  • Eat nutritious food that could nourish you from the inside out. Do simple but appropriate exercises to regain physical strength and sleep for at least 8 hours every day.

  • Getting some advice on how to get back to your old best self through plastic & cosmetic surgery from Dr Ellis Choy, Zilver Lining, may be a good idea too.

  • Pamper yourself in a salon by getting your hair and nails done.

  • Avoid making big decisions during and after childbirth — like moving to a new home, switching jobs or engaging with a new business — as these might cause worries and stress.

  • Surround yourself with positive people and things to keep you in good mood all the time. Share knowledge about your pregnancy and the possible signs and symptoms with the other members of the family for better understanding of your condition.

  • Focus and engage with activities that are not stressful and can make you become productive to avoid boredom and rid you of overwhelming feelings of anxiety and irritability.

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