Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Preventable Tragedy!

I believe many of you have read about the tragic news above. A woman who just delivered a baby committed suicide because of depression due to the baby in-born problem.
Post partum depression (產後抑鬱症)is a common problem during confinement period. It is estimated 25% of women suffer from depression during the confinement period.

Among the reasons that cause depression during confinement period:

1) Unexpected result from the pregnancy. All of the pregnant women expect to deliver a healthy and beautiful baby.
Unfortunately, sometimes baby is born with some degree of in-born defects, for example, hole in the heart, cleft lip.

2)Bad experience from the labour process. The duration of labour maybe too long and they suffer from long duration of labour pain.

3) Poor husband/family support. The women from a broken family have a higher chance of developing post partum depression.

4) Lack of sleep during confinement and uncomfortable living environment, especially if the newborn is frequently crying for milk.

5) The women with depressed personality and mental illness before the pregnancy have higher chance to face with this problem. A cheerful and open minded personality has less chance of developing this problem.

What are the symptoms of post partum depression?

The symptoms usually appear after 1 week of delivery. The woman who suffer from this problem usually feels hopeless, sleepless, moody and sometimes crying for no reason. Her appetite for food is poor.
Sometimes, in the severe cases, the patients may have the intention to commit suicide.

What should I do to prevent post partum depression?

1) You need to work closely with your doctor. Find a doctor who you can trust and comfortable with. The doctor concerned will take care of you throughout the pregnancy period.

2) Your husband must understand this situation and provide you with the support to assist you to go through this difficult period.

3) If possible, spend your confinement period at home to stay close to your family members. Generally, those stay in confinement home are more common to suffer from this problem.

4) You need to have at least 8 hours of quality sleep during confinement period. The duty to take care of your baby should pass to a confinement lady.

5) Drink plenty of water.

6) You can pursuit your hobby during confinement. If you like reading, surfing internet, watching TV or chit-chatting, just do it.

7) See your doctor early if you have symptoms of depression. Some medications may help to prevent the problem from worsening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Jason, I'm Celine. Thanks for writing us an article just right on time. I'm sure all of us will aprreciate it. Thanks again!