frequently asked questions

There is a tendency to think that just as it comes by itself it will pass by itself. Most often this is not the case. You have to attend to your concerns and not just say, “Let's wait and see.” If more than four weeks have lapsed since birth and your mood is not improving, if you are experiencing dysfunction, sleep difficulties, a change in appetite, or any other changes which worry you, seek advice. When the problem is identified and diagnosed early on, recovery is usually easier.
Great question. The common terminology used is postpartum depression. This is a broad heading which includes other reactions that occur in pregnancy and after birth. This includes anxiety and fear which you’ve mentioned. Indeed, one of the most common reactions after birth is anxiety.
Read more on postpartum anxiety.
After the family doctor has suggested the possibility of postpartum depression, or if you suspect that is a possibility, contact the relevant healthcare providers who are experts in depression and other reactions which occur in pregnancy and after birth. The best address for diagnosing and treating such problems are professionals who are specifically trained to deal with mental health issues.
If your wife is indeed suffering from postpartum depression, she should receive immediate and professional assistance, which will be determined according to the prenatal or postpartum reaction she is experiencing. At the same time try your best to be there for her with both emotional and hands on support. She may need more help in the house or with the other children if there are older ones. She will also need more emotional support to get through this difficult period.
For any additional questions, please contact The Nitza Center at 02/500 2824.
In general, postnatal reactions can be divided into three categories:
Baby Blues
This is a very common reaction that occurs in approximately 80% of women from the third day after birth until about two weeks. In most cases the Baby Blues disappear on their own and no treatment is required. However, as with all mothers in pregnancy and after birth emotional and instrumental support are the best means of promoting a healthy recovery and preventing prenatal and postpartum reactions such as depression and anxiety. Symptoms include among others: feeling sad, crying, irritability, anxiety, anger, mood swings, difficulty falling asleep, exhaustion and more.

Postpartum Adjustment Disorder
Postpartum Adjustment Disorder is an extension of the Baby Blues where the symptoms such as sadness, anger or anxiety do not disappear but may continue and perhaps worsen. With emotional and instrumental support, as well as learning coping skills and strategies, this postpartum mother can strengthen and return to herself. However, often times without this support and coping skills her situation may deteriorate and she may then begin to experience a clinical depression.
Prenatal and Postpartum Depression
In pregnancy or after birth following the period of Baby Blues, if a woman experiences increased or intense sadness, crying, anxiety, anger, changes in mood, disturbances in sleeping and eating, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, shame, forgetfulness and lack of concentration, among many other symptoms which do not subside, it is very likely that she is experiencing prenatal or postpartum depression. If they worsen a woman may find it hard to take care of her baby, herself and her other children. If you are not certain about what you are experiencing, a good place to start is by contacting NITZA at 02 500-2824. Self-diagnosing is never a good idea.
While there are more serious reactions that may begin within a few days after birth, postpartum depression does not have to occur immediately after birth. We often see that the depression occurs in pregnancy or begins a few months after birth. A common scenario is when maternity leave is over, the mother goes back to work, and then things begin to falter a bit. The mother and those around her may not focus on the fact that she gave birth not so long ago, and may not link her emotional changes to childbirth. According to the literature available, postpartum depression may be considered as beginning even at two years after birth.
It is now known that men also experience postpartum depression. Although they also may exhibit sadness, anxiety and feel overwhelmed, it has been noted that there is often a difference between the way men and women experience postpartum depression. While women are usually willing to discuss the changes in emotion and adjustment they experience in pregnancy and after birth, many men, on the other hand, may find it hard to speak about their emotional changes or distress. Postpartum depression in men is often exhibited by emotional detachment, distance from their partner, isolation, anxiety, irritability, frustration and anger. Postnatal depression in men is often related to issues and concerns regarding the role of being a father, the demands involved in fatherhood as well as changes in relationships, such as to his wife and others around him. The additional financial responsibility of a new baby to feed, clothe and care for may cause him stress and worry. Paternal postpartum depression is very likely to impact the relationship. It is highly recommended that a man experiencing a postpartum reaction seek professional help and talk through these issues. If necessary, he too should see a psychiatrist and receive psychotropic treatment. Read more
First of all, you noticed – which is great. Now to get to the practical side of things. There is much you can do to help. Organizing hot meals for her or preparing one yourself, and/or organizing babysitters or offering to let her catch an hour nap while you watch the baby or take the other children with you to the park goes a long way towards recovery. If you notice that she is having a hard time coping, you can begin a dialogue by mentioning that the postpartum period is usually so challenging and that you want her to know you are there for her and that she can count on your support. You can say that nothing is too trivial to discuss or ask of you and you will try to see how you can help. Depending upon your relationship and the severity of the difficulties you are seeing her experience, you can mention that there is an organization that helps with adjusting to the challenges of pregnancy and the postpartum period and that you’d be happy to get the number for her. If you see that she does not have the emotional or physical strength to take that step, you can take the initiative by calling NITZA and seeing how she can be assisted further.