Childbirth brings about ample changes to a woman’s life physically as well as mentally. It takes a long time before the new mum gets adjusted to her new routines, gets physically fit and finds ways to continue some of her older routines. The time a woman takes to settle down after childbirth depends on her personality and equally on the help and support provided by people around her. In between this, there is a greater chance that the new mum succumbs to postpartum depressions. This happens due to her rising fears in handling the new born, continuing her career, getting back in shape and insufficient ‘me’ time. Postpartum depression is common but how each woman reacts to it decide the consequences drastically.
Life takes a U-turn for the mother with a newborn in the household. She devotes all her attention and time to the little munchkin and this puts some of them into depression. It seems to be an emotional problem from outside, but a new research tells that women diagnosed with postpartum depression are at a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. From a 1.8 million Californian women who did not have a history of cardiovascular disease or chronic depression 40,276 of them were diagnosed with postpartum depression. The research found that within five years of being analyzed with postpartum depression these women had a 70% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (including heart attack, stroke and heart failure). The study team adjusted for risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, smoking and alcohol.
While probing the causes behind such an effect the researchers theorize that a drop in the estrogen and progesterone levels after childbirth may be the underlying reason. Both these hormones shoot up drastically during pregnancy and the level of these hormones might decline more than normal in women with postpartum depression after childbirth.
Health Takes a Backseat when Depressed
Depression can ruin day-to-day life greatly. It makes the depressed person uninterested in doing things-eating, exercising, preparing food or taking care of thyself. It paves way for unhealthy lifestyle practices which might also exist as the reason for increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with depression. While postpartum depression exists as a risk factor and these women must assess their cardiovascular risk there is no denial it holds good for all other women too of other ages to get their risk assessed as heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Meanwhile, start living a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals with the help of nutritionists and dietitians at www.firsteatright.com who specialize in post-delivery nutrition.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.