This week, Radio Active’s show dedicated to mental health conversations, Mano Charchae featured Dr. Sundarnad Gajukar in conversation with RJ Padma Priya. Issues on the discussion table were postnatal depression and postpartum bonding.
“Postnatal depression is being identified and observed increasingly nowadays. If left to worsen, the condition can affect the baby as well. So, medical care is a must in this situation. Prenatal stress can flow into the pregnancy and postnatal periods, too.”
A pregnant person needs sufficient mental health support from parents and the partner.
Symptoms of postnatal depression can include:
- No or little interest in the newborn
- Constant tiredness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Low interest in socialising
Family members and caregivers must keep a note of these behaviour patterns and seek help sooner rather than later. “There are treatments available, so people should come forward and talk to doctors about their situation openly.”
Symptoms resembling those of Bipolar Disorder can also be observed in the postnatal period of some persons. “Poverty is understood to be a larger cause of this. A highly stressful pregnancy can be a result of low resources and this can lead to postnatal mental health problems. Also, misunderstandings between partners and a lack of healthy relations with family members, along with improper nutrition, can complicate already vulnerable cases.” Medication provided during pregnancy and after pregnancy should not be discontinued.
Every Friday, a ‘Walk-in Clinic’ is organised at NIMHANS where four to five medical professionals are available for help. “Patients struggling with postnatal complications must use this facility.”
Missed the broadcast? Click on this link to catch up!