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Beyond the Baby and the Blues

October 9, 2023
Image Credit: Yan Krukov
Image Credit: Yan Krukov

You’ve spent nine months on the most exciting, fascinating, and yet oftentimes unpredictable and painstaking journey as your baby grew and developed inside of you, and now you must enter the next stage of this adventure. During this time, many things can happen to you, your body, your baby, and - frequently overlooked but equally as important - your mind.

Postpartum depression is an ailment that affects many mothers after birth. For some, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or sadness go away after three to five days. This is called the “baby blues”. However, for many others, these feelings can linger and if they last longer than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. Feelings of sadness after birth is something that no mother wishes to experience; however, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in nine women have symptoms of postpartum depression. These emotions are common among the motherhood community.

So, what causes postpartum depression?

The Office on Women’s Health highlights that while you are pregnant, your hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are the highest they have ever been in your life. After you give birth, your hormones drop within the first twenty four hours to the levels that they were before pregnancy. This drop in hormones could lead to the symptoms involved with postpartum depression. Hormones not only play a major role in emotional processing, but with regards to depression, they also regulate the biological systems involved. Other factors that may cause the onset of postpartum depression include birth-related fatigue exacerbated by a lack of sleep, feelings of being overwhelmed and doubtful about their ability as a mother, as well as feelings of loss in their attractiveness, time, and identity as a woman.

Despite the frequency of postpartum depression, there are ways to mitigate, decrease, or prevent the symptoms from occurring. “Postpartum depression: The worst kept secret” by Harvard Health Publishing, references numerous studies that have shown how care for women after birth that is both social and psychological can aid in decreasing the chance of developing postpartum depression. Home visits from a nurse, therapy, and support groups are some of the key intervention and prevention strategies that are suggested. Physical and emotional relief through expert medical help, community support, and newborn & maternal education are ways in which Ahma & Co assists in preventing PPD symptoms. By investing in direct and immediate postpartum care, and expressing one’s feelings early on, the symptoms and diagnosis of postpartum depression can be reduced or averted.

As a postnatal hotel developed to tackle this exact issue, Ahma & Co offers a transitional, 2-week retreat between the hospital and the home to help alleviate pressures and prevent postpartum depression. With postpartum doulas, pediatric nurses, lactation specialists and pelvic floor physical therapists available around the clock, there will always be someone to answer a question, help you feel more comfortable, or chat through any emotions you may be feeling. Our holistic approach to postnatal care prioritizes that you feel recovered and prepared for the next stage in your and your infant’s life, equipped with the knowledge to do the right thing for you and your little one. You will also be introduced to a community of mothers, all of whom are in the same stage of motherhood and many of whom may be experiencing the same feelings and emotions as yourself. In our communal spaces designed for comfort and relaxation, you can bond, talk, laugh, cry, and support one another through the first few weeks after giving birth.

For many, postpartum depression may feel like an unavoidable and scary life-altering encounter - but it doesn’t have to be. At Ahma & Co, we aim to prevent postpartum depression by providing the right medical and emotional support for your recovery, supplemented by newborn care education to remove the pressure from guesswork and uncertainty that you’re doing the right thing. Our goal is to help you feel more confident in both your health and your ability to be a wonderful mom, and we are ready to embark on this rewarding journey with you.

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