Postpartum Psychological Changes and Their Nursing Care

Postpartum Psychological Changes and Their Nursing Care

What is Postpartum Period?

The postpartum period is usually considered the interval extending from the birth of the baby until 6 weeks after. It is the 6 weeks interval between the birth of the newborn and the rectum of the reproductive organs to their normal non-pregnant state.

Postpartum psychological changes and their nursing care
Fig: Postpartum psychological changes and their nursing care

The postpartum (or postnatal) period begins after childbirth and is typically considered to end within six weeks. However, there are three distinct but continuous phases of the postnatal period; the acute phase, lasting for six to twelve hours after birth; the subacute phase, lasting six weeks; and the delayed phase, lasting up to six months.

Postpartum Psychological Changes and Their Nursing Care:

1. Postpartum blues-

The baby blues generally show up 3 to 4 days after birth and may last for the few weeks after delivery.


  • 50% of women experience some feelings of overwhelming sadness,
  • Mood swings, sudden crying episodes, anxiety, loneliness.


  • Sudden and quick changes in hormones,
  • The physical and emotional stress,
  • The fatigue and lack of sleep.

Nursing care:

  • Advice women to exercise regularly,
  • Advice women to eat healthy,
  • A women need assurance that sudden crying episodes are normal,
  • Join a support group for new mothers.

2. Postpartum depression:

It is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later.


  • Women commonly have mood changes during pregnancy, especially after delivery,
  • These mood changes may caused by changes in hormone levels,
  • Changes in work and social relationships,
  • Lack of sleep,
  • Worries about ability as a mother.


  • Irritability,
  • Changes in appetite,
  • Feeling depressed the majority of the day, almost every day of the week,
  • Feeling of worthlessness or guilt,
  • Feeling withdrawn,
  • Lack of interest,
  • Loss of energy,
  • Negative feelings toward the baby.

Nursing care:

  • Ask the partner, family, and friends of the women for help with her baby,
  • Advise the women doesn’t hide her feelings,
  • Don’t make any major life changes during or right after giving birth,
  • Advise her to take time to go out, visit friends or spend time alone with her partners,
  • Advise her to take enough rest.

Postpartum Psychosis:

In comparison to the incidence of depression and anxiety that is experienced by new mother in the postpartum period. When it is experienced by a new mother, she might be scared or confused, once out of psychotic state.

  • Hallucinations,
  • Delusions,
  • Drastic mood swings,
  • Disorganization of speech,
  • Disorganization of behavior,
  • Extreme restlessness,
  • Anger.

Nursing care:

  • Reassure the patient,
  • Support positive parenting behavior,
  • Early detection of the mal adaption,
  • Advise her to take enough rest. Seep when the baby is sleeping,
  • Spend time with family member,
  • Counsel the family member.

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