Meghan Markle’s Postpartum Depression (A brief understanding)

In this article, we will try to understand Megahan Markle’s postpartum depression with a list of signs and symptoms and a  few tips on how to deal with it. 

Meghan Markle’s Postpartum Depression

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Married to Prince Harry, gave birth to a baby boy, who was named Archie on May 6th, 2019. Shortly after the birth, the newlywed couple went on a royal tour to Africa with their prince. 

It was on this tour the world got aware of Meghan Markle’s postpartum depression. In an interview with ITV, she opened up to the interviewee about her challenges of being a new mom. 

Markle said and I quote” “Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging.” The Duchess of Sussex revealed that new motherhood had taken a toll on her mental health. 

Markle with her teary eyes agreed with Tom Brady when he asked her if she was not really okay. She further also mentioned that “ it is not easy for a woman to be newlywed and a new mom on top of it”’ She thanked Tom, for asking him how she is doing, as not many people have asked her. “ it is a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes”, said Meghan Markle painfully. 

Meghan Markle’s postpartum depression made the world realize that any woman be it from a royal family or a common middle-class family can suffer through postpartum depression. When Meghan spoke about her difficulties with motherhood, women all across the globe, belonging to different cultures, races empathized with her. The trend #WeLoveYouMeghan, burst on Twitter hours later showing how relatable her condition was. 

Meghan Markle’s postpartum depression brings us in check with the reality that irrespective of the amount of wealth, fame, and name, a person’s mental health can take a toll.  In fact, it was the fame that added to Markle’s postpartum depression. Prince Harry stood up for his wife and stated that “My wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences.” making their journey even more difficult. 

Signs and Symptoms of postpartum depression 

The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s postpartum depression demanded the need to create awareness about the condition. Many women came up and spoke about the different signs and symptoms one goes through. 

The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression are as follows: 

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Restlessness
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Sometimes symptoms of postpartum depression can be mistaken for those of baby blues. But these signs are more intense and stay for a longer period of time. They also interfere with your ability to handle daily activities as well as your baby. 

Here is an example of a woman named Nicole’s postpartum experience. She says  “I definitely related [to Markle]. Very few people ask you how you are doing. There is an expectation to have it together. I battled a lot with the loss of income. Being unpaid for maternity leave posed a huge strain for us. My marriage was rocky. I was trying to balance being a mom of two in a new state with a different support system. I dealt with work drama even though I was on leave. Few people asked if I was okay. “  

People’s reaction to Meghan Markle’s Postpartum Depression. 

A huge number of people supported and empathized with Meghan, showering her with love and affection via twitter. Despite this, people have belittled her and question the suffering of the Duchess. It has been suggested that a person belonging to the royal family, having all the privileges cannot complain or talk about her mental health issues. 

Royal biographer and journalist Angela Levin said that even though Meghan has had a lot of changes from changing countries to joining the royal family to having a baby, there’s something positive about it. A healthy baby, a handsome and wealthy husband. But what people need to understand is that mental health cannot be cured just by looking at the positives. 

It is very natural for women with postpartum depression to feel guilty about their condition. They feel they should be happy about their baby. In such situations questioning a woman’s right to complaint will only add more to her mental health toll. 

Meghan Markle’s postpartum depression makes us think that anyone can suffer from a mental illness. You know that is the thing about mental illness. It does not reflect your status in life. Just as the Queen of England can come down with a common cold, the Duchess of Sussex can be diagnosed with a mental health condition. 

Causes of postpartum depression. 

There is no one cause of postpartum depression. But both physical and emotional issues can come together to play a role. 

Physical changes: it is no news that post childbirth, a mother goes through drastic physical changes. There is a huge drop in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, that may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones released by thyroid gland too may drop leaving you feeling tired and depressed. 

Emotional issues: With physical changes, childbirth is emotionally draining. A mother is usually sleep deprived and overwhelmed, having trouble dealing with small problems. She may be anxious about handling her new born baby.  The physical changes may make you feel less attractive and struggle with self image and identity issues, contributing to postpartum depression. 

How to deal with Postpartum depression?

If you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression, like Meghan Markle, making lifestyle changes can also help reduce some of the symptoms. It is also very important to visit a therapist. In conditions like these, professional help is a must. 

Here is a list of things new moms like Meghan Markle can do to help avoid postpartum depression and take care of themselves:

  • Find time to exercise on a regular basis.
  • Don’t demand too much of yourself, and take things slowly. 
  • ensuring that your own basic needs are met – such as eating regular nutritious meals, getting an adequate amount of sleep, etc.
  • Surround yourself with a supportive network of people who care.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for help and support – whether it’s about taking care of the baby or handling household chores. 
  • Join support groups- meet new mums o understand what they are going through and learn from them. 
  • Additionally, pamper yourself. Sometimes, taking care of your physical self can help you feel better inside, thereby adding to your well-being.

Apart from these self-care activities, therapy and medication are recommended. 

Therapy: Psychotherapy is usually considered to be a preferable option.  A psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professionals can provide counseling. Therapy can help you make sense of destructive thoughts and offer strategies for working through them. It may help you talk out your concerns and feelings. Talking to a therapist gives you better ways to cope with your feelings, solve your issues, make realistic goals and respond to situations positively. It is not necessary to go to a therapist. Try talking to your family or partner. If that does not help, visit a therapist. 

Medication: Few antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, etc are recommended. They directly affect the brain. They act up on the neurons and regulate the production of neurotransmitters, regulating the mood. They do not work right away, but are seen to be effective over a period of time. 

Although these medications may have certain side effects on both the baby and the mother. The mother may feel nausea, dizziness, fatigue, reduced sex drive. Some antidepressants can be taken while breastfeeding. Make sure you talk to your doctor before popping a pill. 

Childbirth is certainly not easy, especially for the mother. carrying the baby for 9 months in her womb, with morning sickness, discomfort, constant irritation, and mood swings is supposed to be the easiest part. The process of childbirth when the mother is pushing the baby into the world is equivalent to breaking 20 bones at once. After the baby is born, the hormonal changes make it nearly impossible for any mother to avoid mood swings and irritation. Let’s not forget the parenting process as the child grows. 

A pure and heartfelt process of childbirth does take an emotional toll on women. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion 

In this article, we have tried to understand Megahan Markle’s postpartum depression with a list of signs and symptoms and a few tips on how to deal with it. 

FAQs: Meghan Markle’s  Postpartum Depression

How common is Postpartum Depression? 

It is seen that about 50-75% of women experience what is called baby blues. About 15% of them develop a more severe and longer-lasting condition called postpartum depression. About one in 1000 women develop what is known as postpartum psychosis. 

How long to postpartum hormones long?

Usually, postpartum hormone imbalance lasts for 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth. The hormones related to breastfeeding lasts until the mother breastfeeds. 

What is postpartum psychosis? 

A very rare condition that develops within the first week of delivery, postpartum psychosis is a severe and life-threatening condition with symptoms such as Confusion and disorientation, having obsessive thoughts about your baby,  hallucinations and delusions, sleep disturbances, excessive energy and agitation,  paranoia attempts to harm yourself or your baby.

How can I stabilize my hormones after pregnancy? 

5 tips to stabilize hormones after pregnancy are 

Take a high-quality prenatal- a huge amount of nutrients are drained while childbirth. 
Take care of your gut- estrogen is carried out through the bowel. Hence it is highly important that your motion is regular. 
A daily detox ritual- eat protein-rich food, a high-quality b-complex vitamin, and cruciferous vegetables that help in hormonal balance. 
Balance your blood sugar
Lastly engaging in stress management is very important. 

Can men have postpartum depression? 

Depression in dads is a relatively common phenomenon. 2% to 25% dads are seen to be depressed at the time of their partner’s pregnancy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this can increase by 50% when the mother also has perinatal or postpartum depression. 

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References 

https://www.insider.com/meghan-markle-opens-up-new-mom-struggles-2019-10

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-postpartum-depression-markle-1.5335475

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

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