Postpartum depression is a type of depressive mood disorder that can occur after childbirth characterized by sadness, anxiety, and difficulty bonding with baby.
If you are a new mom, it is important to be aware of postpartum depression. Depression is a medical condition that can occur after giving birth and can cause a wide range of symptoms, including sadness, anxiety, severe mood swings, and difficulty bonding with your baby.
It is important to get help if you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression, as this condition can negatively affect both you and your child. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, as well as how to get help if you need it.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a type of depressive mood disorder that can occur after childbirth.
In the first few weeks of caring for a newborn, most new moms feel anxious, sad, frustrated, tired, trouble sleeping and overwhelmed. Sometimes known as the ” baby blues,” these feelings get better within a few weeks.
But for some women, they are very strong or don’t get better. Postpartum depression is when these feelings don’t go away after about 2 weeks or make it hard for a woman to take care of her baby.
Many women experience some form of the “baby blues” after giving birth, but postpartum depression is more serious.
Postpartum psychosis is a rare but severe mental illness that can happen after childbirth. It can cause a woman to have delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
A woman with postpartum psychosis may act in ways that are out of character and pose a danger to herself or her baby.
If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or psychosis, it’s important to talk to your health care provider. Postpartum depression is treatable, and there are many resources available to help you get the support you need.
Paternal postpartum depression
Young Fathers, who have a history of depression, experience relationship problems, or are struggling financially are most at risk of postpartum depression.
What causes postpartum depression?
There is no one cause of postpartum depression. It can be caused by a combination of physical, emotional, and social factors. Some women may be more at increased risk of postpartum depression due to a history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders.
Your estrogen and progesterone levels are higher than usual while you’re pregnant. Hormone levels plummet as soon as labor is completed, which can contribute to the development of postpartum depression.
Other risk factors for postpartum depression include:
- A history of depression or anxiety
- A personal or family history of depression
- Stressful life events during pregnancy or after childbirth
- Lack of social support
- Hormonal changes after childbirth
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor nutrition
- Financial problems
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Physical and emotional issues
- A newborn has birth defects
What are the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression?
The symptoms of postpartum depression can vary, but they may include:
- Feeling sad or crying a lot
- Rapid mood swings
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Anger or irritability
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Excessive tiredness
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your health care provider. Postpartum depression is treatable, and there is help available.
How is postpartum depression diagnosed?
A healthcare professional should be contacted if symptoms of postpartum depression persist for more than two weeks after childbirth.
A medical professional will examine your symptoms and medical history to conclude. They’ll typically look for and inquire about the following:
- Sadness symptoms
- Sleep problems
- Feelings of tiredness
- Feelings of annoyance
A medical professional will also look for other risk factors for depression and related problems during the evaluation.
Your doctor may also request a blood test to determine whether an illness like thyroid disease or a nutritional deficit is causing your sadness.
When left untreated postpartum depression can disrupt mothers’ and children’s bonds and cause family difficulties.
Postpartum depression can hurt your relationship with your partner and your ability to bond with your baby. If left untreated, postpartum depression can last for months or even years.
Fortunately, postpartum depression is treatable. If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression, talk to your health care providers.
How postpartum depression can be prevented?
Tell your doctor if you’re considering getting pregnant or as soon as you find out you’re expecting if you have a history of depression, particularly postpartum depression.
Your doctor can keep a close eye on you throughout your pregnancy for indications and symptoms of depression. Also, try to find someone to talk to who will understand what you are going through.
Your doctor may recommend an early postpartum checkup to screen for symptoms and signs of postpartum depression after your baby is born. The sooner it’s identified, the better.
You may also lower your chances of developing postpartum depression by:
- Finding a support system made up of family and friends before your kid is born
- Taking antenatal and postnatal educational courses
- Having an agreement in place for child care so you can rest
- Keeping a healthy diet, getting some exercise, spending time in the fresh air every day
- Getting enough sleep
How is postpartum depression treated?
Postpartum depression may be treated in various ways according to the severity of symptoms or the nature of their symptoms.
Treatment options include medication against anxiety and depression, psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, and participation in support groups and workshops to support and educate the public. For serious sclerosis injections of the medication zelresso brexanolone are possible.
When postpartum psychosis is present, drugs may be taken. Occasionally hospital admissions are required. Do you have anxiety while breastfeeding or have depression and anxiety? Consult your physician.
There are also many self-care measures you can take to help manage your symptoms. These include:
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting enough sleep
- Spending time with friends and family
- Joining a support group
- Finding a therapist or counselor you can talk to
With proper treatment, most new mothers find relief from their symptoms. Women who are treated for postpartum depression should continue treatment even after they feel better. If treatment is stopped too soon, symptoms can recur.
What happens in talk therapy?
In talk therapy (also called psychotherapy ), you and a mental health professional talk about your feelings and discuss how to manage them.
Sometimes, therapy is needed for only a few weeks, but it may be needed for a few months or longer.
What can happen if postpartum depression is not treated?
Untreated postpartum depression can have a detrimental impact on your ability to care for your child.
- You may not be able to maintain an appropriate level of energy
- Feel irritable
- Not being able to focus on the demands of the new baby or your own needs
- Being depressed and unable to care for your kid
- Have a higher chance of committing suicide
Untreated postpartum depression can last for months or longer, sometimes becoming a chronic depressive disorder. Even when treated, postpartum depression increases a woman’s risk of future episodes of major depression.
When you feel like you’re struggling to cope, it’s important to talk to your health care provider.