Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman immediately after she has given birth. It might happen soon immediately after delivery or as much as a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first four weeks immediately after delivery.
Many new moms encounter the infant blues right after childbirth, which commonly consist of mood swings and crying spells and fade swiftly. But some new moms experience a far more severe, long-lasting kind of depression referred to as postpartum depression. Seldom, an extreme type of postpartum depression called postpartum psychosis develops right after childbirth.
Women frequently have mood changes throughout pregnancy. They're caused by adjustments in hormone levels. Numerous mood alterations are regular and also expected, considering that having a infant can result in several way of life changes. Help from your household and friends can help.
More than half of girls might have depression for a short time after pregnancy. These are feelings of anxiety, irritation, tearfulness, and restlessness which are usually called “the postpartum blues.” This usually occurs in the first couple of weeks following pregnancy and goes away soon, with no the want for treatment.
Postpartum depression can be a much more significant condition that impacts among 8 - 20% of ladies right after pregnancy, specially the first four weeks. It's necessary to seek medical attention to treat postpartum depression.
During pregnancy, these aspects may improve a woman's possibility of depression:
- History of depression or substance abuse
- Household history of mental illness
- Little assistance from family and friends
- Anxiousness about the fetus
- Problems with previous pregnancy or birth
- Marital or financial problems
- Young age (of mother)
Depression immediately after pregnancy is called postpartum depression or peripartum depression. Immediately after pregnancy, hormonal modifications inside a woman's body may trigger symptoms of depression. Throughout pregnancy, the amount of two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, in a woman's body increases greatly. In the initial 24 hours immediately after childbirth, the amount of these hormones rapidly drops back down to their normal non-pregnant levels. Researchers think the fast change in hormone levels could lead to depression, just as smaller modifications in hormones can affect a woman's moods before she gets her menstrual period.
Occasionally, levels of thyroid hormones may possibly also drop after giving birth. The thyroid is actually a small gland within the neck that helps to regulate your metabolism (how your body uses and stores energy from food). Low thyroid levels can cause symptoms of depression including depressed mood, decreased interest in things, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, and weight gain. A simple blood test can tell if this condition is causing a woman's depression. If so, thyroid medicine can be prescribed by a doctor.
You could have a higher chance of postpartum depression if you:
- Are under age 20
- Currently abuse alcohol, take illegal substances, or smoke (these are also severe medical health risks for the infant)
- Did not plan the pregnancy or do not want the pregnancy
- Had a mood or anxiety disorder prior to pregnancy, including depression with a previous pregnancy
- Had something stressful happened to you in the course of the pregnancy, including illness, death or illness of a loved one, a difficult or emergency delivery, premature delivery, or illness or abnormality inside the baby
- Have a close loved ones member who has had depression or anxiety
- Have a poor relationship with your husband, boyfriend, or significant other or are unmarried
- Have financial problems (low income, poor housing)
- Have little support from loved ones, pals, and a significant other
- Previously attempted suicide
- Received poor help from your parents in childhood
Women who encounter postpartum depression can suffer from a myriad of different symptoms such as sadness, tearfulness, thoughts of suicide and also anger or rage. The thing about postpartum depression is that it can present itself in several different ways depending upon the woman. It is usually thought of as being a chemical imbalance that might have been brought on by the hormonal changes associated immediately after delivery.
In addition to depressed mood, you might have the following symptoms nearly every day:
- Agitation and irritability
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling withdrawn, socially isolated, or unconnected
- Lack of pleasure in all or most activities
- Loss of energy experienced
- Negative feelings toward the baby
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble sleeping
Postpartum psychosis can be a rare, but extremely significant disorder that can develop following childbirth. It really is characterized by loss of contact with reality. Postpartum psychosis should be considered a medical emergency. Because with the high risk for suicide or infanticide, hospitalization is usually required to keep the mother and the child safe.
Postpartum psychosis develops suddenly, usually inside the 1st two weeks right after delivery, and sometimes inside 48 hours. Symptoms incorporate:
- Hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t real or hearing voices)
- Delusions (paranoid and irrational beliefs)
- Extreme agitation and anxiety
- Confusion and disorientation
- Rapid mood swings
- Bizarre behavior
- Inability or refusal to eat or sleep
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Thoughts of harming or killing the baby
Early warning signs of postpartum psychosis contain an inability to sleep for several nights, agitation, euphoria or irritability, and avoidance from the baby. ?Females with a history of bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of developing postpartum psychosis. In fact, postpartum psychosis resembles a manic episode. Girls who have previously had postpartum psychosis are also highly likely to develop it again if they have another child.
Postpartum depression is often treated with counseling and medication.
- Psychotherapy - Individual therapy or group therapy can be very effective within the treatment of postpartum depression. Psychotherapy is frequently the treatment of choice because of concerns over taking medication while breastfeeding. Interpersonal therapy (IPT), which focuses on interpersonal relationships and issues, is believed to be particularly effective for postpartum depression.
- Hormone therapy - Estrogen replacement therapy sometimes helps with postpartum depression. Estrogen is often used in combination with an antidepressant. There are risks that go along with hormone therapy, so be sure to talk to your doctor about what is best-and safest-for you.
- Marriage counseling - If you are experiencing martial difficulties or are feeling unsupported at home, marriage counseling could be very beneficial.
- Antidepressants - For serious cases of postpartum depression where the mother is unable to care for herself or her child, antidepressants could be an option. However, medication use should be accompanied by therapy, as well as close monitoring by a physician.
With appropriate treatment, postpartum depression usually goes away within a couple of months. In some cases, postpartum depression lasts as much as a year. It's important to continue treatment immediately after you begin to feel better, however. Stopping treatment too early could only result in a relapse.