The Signs of Postpartum Depression Are Visible If You Look For Them
When a woman has a baby, it can cause postpartum depression. Many women will experience what is called the baby blues right after they have the baby.
The baby blues can last for one to two weeks after delivery and are generally not a cause for concern. Some women develop severe depression that may last a long time after giving birth, and this is what is known as postpartum depression.
Being diagnosed with postpartum depression does not mean that someone is a bad mother or a flawed human being. It is often just a complication of giving birth. It is imperative that anyone with postpartum depression get treatment as soon as possible. Getting quick treatment can help a woman to bond with her baby and have their symptoms reduced and hopefully alleviated.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
There are several reasons why a woman will suffer from postpartum depression, and they include:
- Physical changes - After a woman has a baby, there will be a drop in female hormone production. Since the body has been used to these hormones for nine months, it can be quite a shock to the system. This can contribute to the occurrence of postpartum depression. There are also several hormones that are located in the thyroid gland that can drop. When these hormones drop, it can lead to feeling depressed, sluggish, and tired.
- Emotional issues - Having a new baby often means sleep deprivation. When a person is feeling sleep deprived, it can cause them to have trouble caring for their newborn. A woman may feel anxious and may feel like they have lost their control over life due to this feeling.
Spotting the Symptoms
Postpartum depression has symptoms that will last longer and be somewhat different than the baby blues. If postpartum depression is left untreated, it can make a woman not be able to handle their daily tasks, including taking care of the baby. Symptoms of postpartum depression generally show up a few weeks after having the baby. Some women begin sooner, and some women will have symptoms during the pregnancy. Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Mood swings
- Bonding difficulties
- Excessive crying
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping too much
- Loss of energy
- Severe anxiety
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming your baby
- Unable to concentrate
If postpartum depression is not treated, the symptoms may last for months or even longer.
Postpartum depression is often treated with medication and therapy. These treatment options can help a woman work through the depression and help to alleviate any symptoms she is having.
- Psychotherapy - If a woman has postpartum depression, her doctor will recommend that she see a mental health professional. By going to therapy, a woman can set realistic goals, solve problems, learn to respond to situations positively, and learn to cope with situations and feelings. In some cases, it may be recommended that relationship therapy and family therapy also be done to help.
- Antidepressants - The other treatment option for postpartum depression is to treat it with antidepressants. There are several antidepressants that are safe for breastfeeding. Antidepressants can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. A woman will need to work closely with her doctor to determine the best medication for her, depending on her situation.
With postpartum depression, treatment should begin as soon as symptoms start. If it is left untreated, it may turn into chronic depression. Any woman who has postpartum depression should stay under the care of their doctor for a while to ensure that the treatment has worked and that there is no chance of relapse.