Symptoms of depression and anxiety in new mothers

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Symptoms of depression and anxiety in new mothers

Sleep is essential for new mothers’ well-being, as any new mother will tell you, but a new study has found that sleep patterns and biological rhythms are linked to how severe a woman’s anxiety and depression are during her final months of pregnancy and the first few months after giving birth to her child.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety in new mothers
Symptoms of depression and anxiety in new mothers

From the third trimester of pregnancy until six to twelve weeks after giving birth, a group of 73 Hamilton, Ontario, women were studied for research in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

For the first time, researchers have looked at how sleep impacts peripartum depression, a phrase that encompasses the period from just before to just after a baby is born. Depressive symptoms were shown to be associated with abnormalities in the circadian rhythm and increased nighttime activity.

A news statement from McMaster University’s department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences states that “the findings underline the necessity of maintaining the internal biological clock throughout the peripartum period to preserve the good mood and decrease anxiety.”

These biological rhythm characteristics uncovered by our team, either as a therapy or preventative strategy, should be the focus of future attempts to standardize evidence-based therapies.”

It’s the circadian rhythm that tells our bodies when it’s time for rest and when it’s time to go to sleep. It might have negative consequences if it is thrown off.

According to the release, a parent’s mental health is most susceptible during the three months leading up to and immediately after childbirth. According to the press release, between 15 and 18 percent of women feel anxiety during the peripartum period.

Between November 2015 and May 2018, researchers in Ontario recruited 100 women for the study. A total of 73 women returned for follow-ups at one to three weeks postpartum and six to 12 weeks postpartum, for a total of three visits.

Participants filled out questionnaires on their own experiences with sadness and anxiety, as well as how well they slept. Each participant was given an actigraph to wear for two weeks at each of the three sessions, a wrist-worn device that measures sleep levels.

Depressive symptoms were linked to distinct biological rhythms at different points in the trial, according to the researchers (i.e., whether the participant was one to three weeks or six to 12 weeks postpartum).

After six to 12 weeks, having a more fragmented sleep was connected to lower depression symptoms. According to the findings of the study, moms who were not depressed were better able to attend to their kids’ demands at night, which may seem contradictory.

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