What Is Postpartum Depression? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

An estimated 1 in 9 new mothers may experience postpartum depression. Here’s how to recognize the symptoms and get the right treatment.

Although each case of postpartum depression can be the result of a combination of different factors, researchers believe that, in general, hormones, neurochemistry and living conditions suggest that 1 in 9 women in the United States develop this mental health condition. Why the problem occurs, disease control and prevention centers. And that number could be even higher – as noted in an April 2017 article in the Mourning Child and Health Journal, experts believe that later depression often worsens.
The risk of postpartum depression is higher in people with mental health issues such as chronic depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. A study published in February 2017 in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that women with a history of depression had a 20-fold increased risk. Having one episode of postpartum depression can also increase your chances of having another.

But postpartum depression is not permanent: with time and help, medically and otherwise, you can get back to normal.

What Role Do Your Life Circumstances Play?

Pregnancy and birth are very emotional events. These milestones can be joyful, but they can also present challenges that make you feel depressed, tired and restless. These feelings are normal and actually have a name: baby blues.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), up to 80% of mothers experience some degree of unhappiness, anxiety and fatigue after birth. But when the baby’s blows are a little lighter, they rarely stay behind for a week or two and go away on their own, the symptoms of postpartum depression are severe and can last for months.

“If the symptoms go away over a period of two weeks, and the mother still has problems, it will usually lead to a diagnosis of postpartum depression,” said Cleveland’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Diane Young, MD, a staff physician, says. The clinic is located at the Wolfby Hills Family Health Center in Ohio.

If you have past or present pressures that make you realize that you lack support and stability, then psychological stress can develop later in life. Your relationship with your spouse or partner may be difficult, or your financial stability may be unstable. Maybe your pregnancy or delivery was difficult, or you need a newborn baby. You may have lost a parent during pregnancy, a very young mother, or a traumatic childhood trauma.

What Role Do Your Hormones Play

Life circumstances can also put you at greater risk for hormonal disturbances after birth. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels increase, which strengthens both your uterus and umbilical cord. But supply changes these and other hormone levels.

According to Catherine Wesner, MD, director of the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, “Hormone levels drop 100-fold within a few days after birth. Comes. ” Sudden hormonal disturbances can cause mood swings, especially in women with a history of depression or anxiety.

Dr. Weisner says that periods of hormonal fluctuations, such as menstruation and pyrethromyopathy, are associated with major depressive episodes. Fluctuations during and after pregnancy can affect certain neurotransmitters or affect brain function in other ways. “As well as this massive drop in hormones, breastfeeding, sleep disturbances, and motherhood are all contributing to the risk of developing depression.”

Research has also suggested that both post-diabetes and interactive diabetes may increase the risk of postpartum depression.

Can Men Suffer From Postpartum Depression?

Yes, newborns can cause mood swings in men as well. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 percent of men reported signs of stress from the first trimester of a partner’s pregnancy to six months after childbirth, and that number ranged from three to six. During the 26%. The first postnatal period.

A study in the journal Pediatrics, which looked at more than 1,700 fathers with 1-year-olds, found that depression had a negative effect on parents: Depressed fathers were more likely to infect their children. Were and were unlikely to be read.


What Is Postpartum Psychosis?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, in rare cases – including 1 or 2 in 1,000 births – a new mother will have a postnatal psychiatric experience. Symptoms are more severe than postpartum depression, and they appear faster, usually within the first few days of birth.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder may have strange thoughts, or ideas, and their mood may change from one extreme to another. They can also be deceived – hearing voices or seeing things that are not there – and they may have recurring thoughts of harming themselves or their child.

In some cases of postpartum psychosis, there may be a previous history of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizophrenic disorder.

If you love any of these people you like or are close to, you need to get help immediately so both mother and baby are safe.

What Are the Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression?


Postpartum depression can occur after any parent, but according to NIMH, the following factors can increase the risk, emphasizing that regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or economic status A woman can affect any woman.

Symptoms of depression during or after a previous pregnancy
Previous experience with depression or bipolar disorder
A family member who suffers from depression or other mental illness
A stressful life event during pregnancy or immediately after birth, such as job loss, death of a loved one, domestic violence or personal illness
Medical complications during childbirth, such as premature delivery or having a baby with a medical problem
Mixed feelings about pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned
Lack of strong emotional support from others
Alcohol or other drug use issues

Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

The symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person. According to the Mayo Clinic, they usually develop within the first few weeks after birth but can start early (during pregnancy, say) or later (up to a year after birth). These may include:

Severe irritability or anger
Seizures of extreme anxiety and panic
Depression or severe mood swings
Sleep problems, such as insomnia or excessive sleep
Changes in appetite (eating hard or overeating)
Frequent thoughts of suicide or death
Difficulties in the relationship with the child
Thoughts of harming the child
Extreme fatigue or loss of energy
Lack of clear thinking, concentration or decision making
Feelings of guilt, shame, stupidity, or inadequacy
Crying too much

Treatment and Medication Options for Postpartum Depression

Your doctor or midwife may detect a sign that you are at risk for postpartum seizures or postpartum depression, usually six weeks after your baby is born. Your child can also be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by doctors, now the American Academy of Pediatrics says that pediatricians should screen mothers at one, two, four and six months on the best child visits.

Often with postpartum depression, symptoms of depression appear during pregnancy, so if you experience any of the above symptoms before delivery, tell your healthcare provider.

Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, it is important to seek appropriate treatment during this critical time in your life and that of your child. According to the U.S. Department of Health and the Office of Human Services for Women’s Health, one or more treatments may help.

Talk Therapy A therapist, psychologist, or social worker teaches you strategies that make depression the way you feel, think and act.

There are several different medications that can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Your breastfeeding provider may prescribe a safe prescription while breastfeeding. Note that these medications can take several weeks to become effective.

In March 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named Zapreso (Brexanovolone) the first antidepressant drug, especially later. It runs continuously through the IV line for two and a half days (60 hours). It is not safe to take it while pregnant or breastfeeding.

In 2019, the FDA also approved nasal spray injectable (Scutamine) for treatable pressure in adults. Derived from ketamine, a widely used anesthetic, it only works in certified treatment centers. The drug works very quickly, usually within hours. It is not safe to take it while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Electroconvulsive therapy known as ECT, electroconvulsive therapy can help with some cases of extreme depression. Small electric currents pass through the brain, deliberately triggering a brief seizure and altering the brain’s chemistry.

How Do You Cope With Postpartum Depression?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following strategies will help you during treatment.

Choose a healthy lifestyle. It is important for people with postpartum depression to take time to work out healthy foods, exercise and get enough sleep.

Take care of yourself. Make a to-do list for your child to see or hire, then get out of the house and have some fun.

Set realistic expectations. Treatment may help, but it may take some time before you feel better again. In the meantime, don’t force yourself to check everything on your to-do list.

The help of care says yes. Work on their offer to help people. Your friends and family members can help around the house, see the baby so you can sigh, work for you, or be there to listen when you need to talk.

Avoid loneliness. Talk to your partner, friends or family about how you are feeling. You want to join a support group with other mothers who have postpartum depression and can share experiences and coping skills.


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