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September 27, 2018

By Dr. Farah Fiaz, Family Medicine Specialist, HealthBay Al Wasl

Having a baby is both an exciting and a challenging time for any parent. Once you have your baby in your arms the expectation from everyone including yourself is that it should be perfect. The reality however is very different. Having a baby is both an emotional and physical journey and like any journey there are difficulties along the way.

Worldwide 13% of women who have just given birth, experience a mental disorder most commonly depression.

Baby Blues

It is not a surprise that a lot of mums in the beginning feel anxious, tearful or low in mood. It is a huge change and your mind and body is adapting. When these symptoms are temporary, lasting no more than 2 weeks, we refer to these symptoms as “baby blues”.

When does Post-natal depression start?  

Post-natal depression commonly starts within one to two months of birth but can start up to one year after birth. In some cases it can start in pregnancy and continue after birth. It is important to get help as soon as possible as left untreated it can get worse.

Symptoms of Post-natal depression

Mums can feel sad and down for no reason. They might feel tired or even lose interest in the world. They may have feelings of being inadequate and experience lots of negative thoughts. For others it may be that they are struggling to bond with the baby.

Treatment

  • The first step is talking to family and friends and getting that social support. Post-natal depression can also occur in fathers and this is a growing concern.
  • Lifestyle changes: Rest, exercise, healthy eating. Having a daily routine is important and also great for your baby.
  • Make an appointment to see your Family Medicine Doctor or a GP. Your doctor can also conduct a physical examination to ensure there are no medical reasons contributing to the depression. Being low in thyroid hormone or certain vitamins can contribute to low mood.
  • The doctor can decide with you what the best treatment is. Some patients may require monitoring whilst other patients may need medications and psychological therapy.  A lot of mums worry that because they are breast feeding they cannot take medication. However there are lots of suitable treatments that are compatible with breastfeeding too.

To make an appointment, please call 800 HBPC (4272) or fill the appointment form. 

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