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How Postpartum Depression Can Affect The Kids

Women go through a rollercoaster of emotions during and after pregnancy. They need a lot of support not only through the 9 months of their pregnancy but also after delivery. Going through the process of childbirth is amazing but at the same time, it is quite life-changing. And when we say life-changing, it includes positive as well as negative aspects. 

It is very important to help the mother through postpartum so as to prevent her from going into depression, as this can have an effect on the kids. Mothers also need to understand the importance of asking for help rather than taking on too much. Talk to your family or your therapist and don’t bottle up your feelings and emotions.

Recently, people are being more open about postpartum depression and the feelings associated with it. This phenomenon had been dismissed for years as something that happened regularly and something that did not deserve a lot of attention. Although the topic has gained importance and popularity over the years, it still remains a misconception. People believe that postpartum depression or PPD only affects mothers.

This assumption ignores the fact that men also play a huge part in their partner’s pregnancy and are hence exposed to the risk of a PPD as much as women are. Although it is more common in mothers, PPD also affects new dads in certain cases.

The symptoms of paternal and maternal PPD are quite similar. They include – fatigue, irritability, withdrawal and so on. These symptoms usually occur roughly a month after the baby is born. It is more likely that if one partner is suffering from it, the other one will too. This accounts for the next problem – PPD affects kids as well.

A brief window of phenomenal adaptability allows children to learn complex procedures, such as motor skills and language at an incredible rate. While this is a positive thing, it also has its negative repercussions. It makes them more vulnerable to anxiety, frustration and emotional strain caused by depression.

It goes without saying that these issues seep into their raw minds quite easily and get embedded if hourly help is not provided. Children of depressed parents have a greater risk of many emotional and behavioural problems, especially when both parents are going through it. A recent study has shown that the symptoms of PPD in children, take years to show up and have been linked to issues such as – aggression, alcoholism, drug abuse, ADHD and the like.

Given all these negatives, it is all the more important that we all develop a proactive support system for parents going through PPD. Postnatal screening would allow doctors to provide professional counselling to a couple suffering from PPD. The benefits of such a program are quite comprehensive and extend beyond just helping parents suffering from PPD.

Parents do a much more important job than that of raising children. They raise a generation of innovators, workers and leaders. Hence it is imperative that postpartum depression is treated with proper care and nurturing.

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