• 04 Oct
    Mandavi Pandey

    Baby Blues or Post-Partum Depression?

    Baby Blues and Post-Partum Depression

    Having a child is perhaps one of the greatest joy to humans. Months of hardship, careful living and lifestyle changes followed by the awe-inspiring birthing process, really is a rollercoaster ride for the parents, and they love the child all the more because of it. However, sometimes, the mother may not feel the best after the birth. There are two types of emotion or mood related issues that can occur. One of them is baby blues and the other is post-partum depression. Less commonly, post partum anxiety, OCD or psychosis can occur as well.

     

    Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include:

    • Mood swings
    • Anxiety
    • Sadness
    • Irritability
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Crying
    • Reduced concentration
    • Appetite problems
    • Trouble sleeping

    Post-partum depression, on the other hand, lasts much longer and is much more severe. Starting from the time of birth it can last to even 6 months after the birth. Untreated, it may prevail for longer, and interfere with the mother’s care-taking abilities and attachment with the infant.

    Post-partum depression symptoms may include:

    • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
    • Excessive crying
    • Difficulty bonding with your baby
    • Withdrawing from family and friends
    • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
    • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
    • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
    • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
    • Intense irritability and anger
    • 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
    • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
    • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

    Post-partum psychosis/OCD and anxiety are rare but may occur nonetheless. The signs are as follows:

    • State of agitation or anxiety
    • Confusion and disorientation
    • Obsessive thoughts about your baby
    • Hallucinations and delusions
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Paranoia
    • Attempts to harm yourself or your baby

    Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.

     The good news is that of these conditions are treatable. Please contact a registered mental health professional at the earliest in order to get the relevant help.

     You can read our other articles on what causes these conditions, what are certain genetic and environment risk-factors, what the effects of these conditions are and how to get help and get better. These articles will help you stay informed and take the right decision at the earliest.

    If you are having suicidal thoughts, have attempted to harm yourself or the baby, it is advised that you talk to a supportive friend or a loved one and get yourself admitted to a hospital for observation and emergency care.

    Please feel free to ask questions and post comments.

    -eWellness Expert

    Image source

  • 04 Oct
    Mandavi Pandey

    Post-Partum Depression: Risk Factors and Causes

    As a brief introduction to the symptoms of post-partum depression and other mood issues related to the birth process in this article (link to first article) indicates, these issues can have debilitating effects on the new mother. Studies show that 1 out 10 new mothers in the US has PPD and many more are at

    risk.

    Understanding Post-Partum Depression: Risk Factors and Causes

     

    Along with the mother, the father or second parent can also get affected because PPD and mood patterns associated with it can put a strain on the relationship, cause communication problems, fights and lead to worry for the second parent. It may also increase their stress as they may have to care for the new mother, the baby, any other children in the family, as well as tend to household and work duties. Children of women with untreated PPD can exhibit ADHD, ADD and apathy, to name a few issues. They are also likely to have an insecure attachment style which is associated with emotional, social and academic problems in children.

    Therefore, it is of utmost important to understand the risk factors and causes of PPD to know if you need to seek help in dealing with it. Causation has been largely attributed to hormonal processes that happen in the body during pregnancy and delivery. Since hormones are intricately connected to emotions, sometimes, the strain of pregnancy and birth can wreck havoc with mood. The actual delivery can be a painful process and can act as a trigger too.

    Postpartum depression can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. The risk increases if:

    • You have a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times
    • You have bipolar disorder
    • You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
    • You have family members who've had depression or other mood stability problems
    • You've experienced stressful events during the past year, such as pregnancy complications, illness or job loss
    • Your baby has health problems or other special needs
    • You have difficulty breast-feeding
    • You're having problems in your relationship with your spouse or significant other
    • You have a weak support system
    • You have financial problems
    • The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted

    It is important to address this immediately, because PPD can develop into anxiety, psychosis or major depressive disorder. Do not wait if you have even a mild sensation of mood disturbance, combined with a couple of risk factors. It is imperative not to leave PPD untreated. It can ruin relationships and affect the growth of the new-born.

    If you are a partner for a mother with PPD, love and comfort, and not giving up are important. You need to understand that this is not the true mother, but the mother under the hold of a crippling emotional issue. Urge them to get therapy and medication. Make sure that you also get support and care and are not overburdened.

    Get help from a professional mental health specialist at the earliest.

    Please feel free to ask questions and post comments.

    -eWellness Expert

     

  • 17 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Namo, BigB, SRK: why do they get highest followers on social media?

    namo, big b, srk

    Many celebrities have a lot of fan following on twitter, however, Narendra Modi or Namo, Amitabh Bachchan or Big B and Shahrukh Khan or SRK perhaps have more loyal and bigger fan following than the rest. Are there certain aspects of personality that attract us to celebs and non-celebs alike?

    Years and years of personality research has revealed certain personality characteristics that are seen across cultures.

    This is called the Big-five model and comprises of five main traits:

    1. Openness to Experience
    2. Conscientiousness
    3. Extraversion
    4. Agreeableness
    5. Neuroticism

    Generally, it is agreed that a pleasing and functional personality should not be very high on neuroticism (anxious/worrisome), but about the other traits, it depends on culture. For example, introversion (less extroversion) is looked down upon in collectivistic cultures like China.

    Openness to Experience and Agreeableness have been found to have an important impact on work life. The reason is that these traits are important for growth: negotiating skill and the willingness to learn. Similarly, two traits that have been found very important for social life are extraversion and conscientiousness.

    Extraversion means that the person enjoys and thrives in social situations. He or she seeks pleasure in the company of people, always keeps in touch, can make good conversation, and people find him or her fun to be with.

    Conscientiousness is the willingness to do the morally right thing. This means that the person thinks and wants to do right, and can also commit to doing right in front of people/verbally.

    As a society, Indians really value the two traits above, and if we see, these are also the traits found in a lot of our Gods, holy men and mythical figures. Considering that Namo, Big B and SRK are considered to be on some high pedestal, we want them to have these time-tested traits of extraversion and conscientiousness. And as we can see, they do have these traits.

    Three of them are extremely social and very quick and smart with their words, and media persons are found to quote them often. They are liked by almost everyone. They are found in many interaction events and special occasions. Secondly, we have also seen them voice the proper and just opinion on may social issues. This helps to increase their worth in our eyes and we uphold them as celebrities who have a conscience and are not mindless spenders of money.

    We easily believe when they voice these opinions because we know that they come from humble backgrounds. Therefore, we see them as hardworking and not likely to be cheating and morally wrong. This makes it also difficult for people to hate them, even those who do not like their Profession.

    References:1 2 3 4

    Image source

  • 17 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Preparing your son for puberty

    son puberty

     

    Whereas the movement of a girl into puberty would be continuous and smooth, for a boy, it is more in spurts, and so in between these spurts it may be easy to miss out that they too are going through changes. Inform yourself first as it is important to understand the range of things that happen, before you talk to your son.

    After that, the following points need to be looked at:

    Bodily changes: First and foremost are the changes that you need to talk about. Inform them that their voice might break as they grow an adult male voice, about facial hair and shaving, as well as secondary sexual characteristics like pubic hair. Tell them that the hormonal changes that lead to all this will also make them more volatile in mood make them see girls differently and may lead to instant liking and disliking of people and things. Tell them to not act on impulses as far as possible.

    Increase in aggression: As testosterone levels change in the body to help out make the necessary changes for the boy to become a man, it may also need to aggressive tendencies. First tell yourself and then your son that this is normal. If you expect it and normalize, it is easier to handle. Expect some anger, some rage. Make sure you keep talking to your son in an understanding manner so they don’t feel bottled up. Further, direct the aggression towards constructive activities like sports to ease it out.

    Hygiene and care: You need to tell them how to clean up after a wet dream as well as the importance of maintaining general hygiene in the private parts, including shaving regularly. Masturbation is a healthy and good release, but needs to be hygienic. Help them with information, privacy and an understanding attitude at this point.

    Exchange of adult material: At this age, boys tend to exchange pornographic material. This is overhyped and unrealistic and can misinform them about sex. Tell them that this will happen and if they want actual information about the sexual act, it is better to see proper information sources. Do not deny this information to them as they are naturally curious and its better they satisfy the curiosity with the right information than the wrong one. At the same time, talk to them about waiting to grow up before they act on any of this information. Coming from a person who wants them to know the right things, they will listen to you when you ask them to wait.

    Peer pressure for certain activities: There might be peer pressure to try out smoking, drinking, drugs, late nights and reckless activity. Tell them beforehand that other boys may pressurize them into this, but not to fall in the trap as this will derail them from their life goals. Tell them they can have healthy fun like music concerts and going out to eat but not beyond that. Be a friend to them and empathize with them and they will surely listen to you.

     

    Read more:

    Preparing your daughter for puberty

    References:1 2 3

    Image source

     

  • 17 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Preparing your daughter for puberty

    girls puberty

     

    Puberty can be a time of surprising and challenging changes, both with body and emotions. For a growing girl, a lot is going to change. Before you can help out your child, it is most important to understand a lot of things yourself first. Technical knowledge apart, it is important to have a trusting and empathic attitude towards your child as harshness will push them away. Expect some mood swings and rebelliousness so that it does not take you by surprise. Be a friend to them, and this rough period can be passed easily.

    Some helpful tips to help out and prepare your daughter are mentioned below:

    Inform: First and foremost it is necessary to give them the right information. Find out about the changes that are likely to occur in the body and have a genuine talk with them about it. Make sure to find some free time and not when they are busy with school work. Also, do it only when the two of you are there. The presence of others might make them awkward. Focus mainly on development of breasts, periods, and pubic hair. Talk of the healthcare measures for all this. Also tell them that their mood may be affected as they go through hormonal changes.

    Ask: Ask them if they fell conscious about certain aspects of the body, of teasing at school or if they are in a co-ed school, ask them whether it has gotten awkward to be friends with boys. Healthy interaction of both the sexes is important, so don’t impose a ban on talking to boys. If they do not know how to talk to the opposite sex, their later personal life and work life will become difficult.

    Normalize: This step is very important. Normalize whatever they do and say. If they say being friends with boys is difficult, tell them it’s okay, it’s normal, this happens. And then guide them that keeping these friendships is important as the awkwardness is only temporary. Telling them this is normal and okay is important because they do not understand much of what is happening and may feel needlessly guilty. What’s more, coming from you, they will believe it and feel better, and also, this will improve the relationship you have with them.

    Allow: Allow for some changes and experimentation. If they can’t be free with you then they will feel really stifled. Allow them to do some reasonable experiments with career interests, likes and choices, dressing and personal style. They are just trying out things. Of course, if the experiment is too risky like getting a tattoo in a very sensitive skin area, then you gently but firmly refuse it. Tell them to sit on the idea till they are a little older and if then they still feel like doing it, you will consider it again.

    Help: Lastly, going along with them to pick up certain objects of use can be the ultimate support signal. Go and buy lingerie with them to help them pick the right size and comfort. Help them with the use of sanitary napkins and other menstrual instruments like tampons and menstrual cups. Help them out about understanding how to shave pubic hair. This is where they may falter, the actual shopping and managing, so don’t leave them alone there.

    Image source

    References:2 3 

     

     

     

     

     

Book an appointment