Pregnancy and childbirth are major events of any woman’s life. While both events result in endless happiness by the addition of the new member to the family, the hormonal changes a woman faces as a result should not be ignored.
We often forget in our joy that the one who just gave birth needs to be looked after as well.
After childbirth, more than 80% of women go through baby blues which affects their appetite, sleep, mood swings, etc. While baby blues settle over time without treatment, a postpartum depression screening can be a helpful tool in determining whether there are mental health impacts that warrant seeking help. Postpartum depression is real and develops usually 1-3 weeks after the birth of the child.
In postpartum depression, women have intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness that last longer and have a great impact on women’s day-to-day life.
If not treated, it affects the relationship of the mother with her children, with her spouse, with her relatives and friends, etc. It is important to rule it out before it gets too late and gets the right treatment.
Here are a few long-term impacts of postpartum depression if not treated.
1. Struggling To Bond With Children
Mothers who are going through postpartum depression find it difficult to bond and communicate with their children. When mothers feel depressed and sad, it will definitely affect their bond with their children as they spend most of their time with them. They won’t be able to take care properly of their children and it would make them emotionally detached from them.
In addition, children of depressed mothers have to face insecure attachments, delayed cognitive and language development, higher behavioral disorders, etc during the latter stage of life. This can ruin the mother-child bond because the basis wasn’t kept strong.
2. Affects Relationship With Your Spouse
If postpartum depression is not treated, it will affect every relationship the woman ever has. The reason is when you are depressed and hopeless about your life, nothing seems to thrill you anymore. Nothing makes you truly happy anymore from within. You’ll get irritated on little things and start to fight more often with your spouse.
In addition, with the huge responsibility of the newborn, you will be more stressed. You will start to blame your spouse for everything wrong that would happen. Fights become more frequent than ever. In this way, the relationship gets highly stressed and doesn’t lead to a good end for both.
3. Affects Your Children Adversely
Studies show that children who have depressed parents, develop behavioral disorders at a later stage in life. In addition, there is a risk of delayed cognitive and language development.
The reason is, children who are growing up in an environment that is tense and stressed, automatically develop behavioral disorders. Seeing their parents fight all the time makes it hard to develop a valuable bond with them.
The Pediatrics and Child Health study found that toddlers of depressed mothers are on the verge of developing poor-self control. In later stages of life, such children find it hard to socially interact. Moreover, they are more prone to learning disabilities which can become problematic.
4. Social Isolation
Long-term postpartum depression often leads to social isolation from friends and peers. The depressed person doesn’t feel like interacting with anyone. They start to avoid social gatherings because they don’t have the energy and interest in going out.
For instance, one can be easily annoyed when his friends ask about his changed behavior every time they meet. As a result, one soon starts to cut off every relation instead of finding the solution to the problem.
The problem is, it is difficult to detect the problem when you are the problem yourself. But that’s when your family has to play their part and support you to consult a professional therapist instead to delay the issue.
5. Deteriorates Health
While baby blues do not need such treatment, postpartum depression does. If left untreated, the person can affect her health adversely. In postpartum depression, the person has mood swings, irritability, loss of appetite, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, etc.
This in turn harms the physical health of the individual. Depression is not merely a mental effect but it can do more damage physically as well.
The reason is a depressed person either loses her appetite or on the other hand, eats out of proportion. Either way, it affects health. For instance, if depression can lead to loss of appetite, a person can become malnourished.
On the contrary, if a person starts to eat too much and develops inadequate eating behaviors, again it will lead to obesity. Therefore, long-term postpartum depression can deteriorate the health of the affected person.