What is maternal hypervigilance, a symptom of postpartum depression?  |  TF1 INFO

What is maternal hypervigilance, a symptom of postpartum depression? | TF1 INFO

Maternal hypervigilance leads to constant worry after the birth of a baby.
It can also result in the inability to sleep despite fatigue, the need to move, and irritability.
If it persists, it can become a symptom of postpartum depression.

The term maternal hypervigilance, popular on social networks, describes a state of permanent stress regarding the health of the baby. If you are learning to become a mother, if you are still asking yourself questions about parenthood and if you want the best for your child, it is normal to be wary of the slightest movement of your newborn after birth. However, the mother’s hypervigilance should not be allowed to persist, at the risk of endangering the mother’s psychological state.

Hypervigilance becomes concerning if it persists

Paying special attention to your baby, for whom everything is new, just like a mother’s life, is a normal attitude in the first days. According to Anna Roy, a midwife interviewed by The Kindergarten HouseHowever, it should not drag on forever: “We have to break this hellish cycle: the less you sleep, the more anxiety you have, so the less you can get to sleep… it’s going to be hell!” If this condition persists, it is possible to suffer from physical deficiencies, as well as depression or even severe anxiety disorders. This state of hypervigilance is one of the symptoms of postpartum depression, which is why you should be concerned at the first signs.

What to do if this condition persists?

If you cannot remove the pressure for fear that something will happen to your child after seven to ten days, you should see a doctor. It is possible to take the EPDS (Edinburgh Postnatal Scale) online in advance, a test with which you can estimate the risk of postpartum depression in ten questions. To get back “to normal” after starting your follow-up, Anna Roy also advises her patients to allow themselves several moments a week, two to three hours, without the baby: “Go watch a movie, take a walk outside…do something for yourself.” An effective way to get out of this state of non-stop monitoring of your baby. And that doesn’t stop you from breastfeeding. As a bonus, the first benefits will be visible quickly, the midwife reassures: “And within three days we notice that sleep returns, and this problem, which was huge, stops, and that prevents us from falling into depression.”


Marjorie RAYNAUD for TF1 INFO

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