Neelam was very happy after having conceiving her first baby. She had been married for 3 years & had a loving & caring husband. All she needed was a child to complete her world. At the first trimester of pregnancy, the morning sickness had been particularly severe. She was feeling weak & exhausted and the pregnancy was making her emotional. Her mother in law told her that it was normal to feel this way & jovially mentioned wrong information that these clinical problems are indications that she is going to deliver a baby boy. Neelam wanted to feel happy but as days passed she felt sad & her apprehensions grew. She felt that she is not ready for her second child. This continuous feeling of self doubt added to her guilt making her not enjoy her motherhood.
Depression in Pregnancy can affect your personality and approach towards motherhood:
Her continuous feeling of worthlessness, anxiety, and sadness started to affect her personality. She became aloof, withdrawn and preferred being alone. Her relationship with her in-laws and husband also started deteorating. By the time she was in her 3rd trimester, Neelam had developed a new personality altogether. The changes were noticed by her Obstetrician who assured that the pregnancy is going fine but as Neelam was undergoing these psychological problems she recommended her to consult a psychiatrist. However, due to fear of stigma, the recommendations were ignored.
In midst of 37 weeks her labour pain started on which she was immediately brought to the hospital where due to inadequate labor pain her normal delivery was not possible. And a decision was taken to deliver the baby through C-Section. Neelam thought she would finally feel joyous but she felt exhausted and miserable. She was repeatedly blamed for having to go through surgery instead of a normal delivery. She could not stop crying, didn’t want to hold the baby and didn’t want to talk to anyone.
Her obstetrician asked for a psychiatry referral. Dr Jyoti Kapoor Madan, Senior Psychiatrist in Paras Hospitals Gurgaon assessed her clinically & diagnosed her mental health situation –Moderate to the severe grade of major depressive disorder. Her family was educated & counseled about her situation. After initial reluctance, her husband was able to acknowledge that his wife had been complaining of sadness & helplessness for several months.
Treatment was started by Dr. Jyoti Kapoor Madan and the condition improved over next few months & her bonding with the child became better.
According to Dr Jyoti, “Women are vulnerable to develop mood related symptoms due to frequent hormonal changes. It’s important to differentiate between mild mood swings associated with pregnancy and more severe changes associated with clinical depression.Timely interventions improve pregnancy outcomes and other clinical bonding.”