Postpartum Depression- Causes, Symptoms & Treatment




Welcoming a baby home might not be the happiest moment in the life of some new mothers. According to mental health experts, mood disturbances occur in almost eighty-five per cent women after childbirth.

In most cases, the mood disturbances, also known as postpartum blues, are mild in nature. They might experience mood swings for a brief period. Adjusting to the new role of a parent might be responsible for the emotional problems.

About 10 to 15 per cent new moms might suffer from moderate to severe depression, better known as postpartum depression. Rarely, postpartum depression takes the form of postpartum psychosis.


Signs of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression usually occurs within the first three months after childbirth. A new mom might experience depression immediately after delivery. The symptoms of depression might last up to a year. And in a small number of cases, the signs of postpartum depression persist for over a year.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are indistinguishable from the signs of major depression. A lingering sense of sadness, tearfulness, severe anxiety and fatigue are common signs of postpartum depression.

The new mom might be overwhelmed with guilt or a sense of worthlessness. She might worry excessively about the infant. She might avoid interacting with friends and relatives. Women suffering from postpartum depression would avoid activities they earlier enjoyed doing.

Appetite changes, usually food cravings, are linked to postpartum depression. Sleeping difficulties and insomnia might worsen the depression. Severe postpartum depression might lead to recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.

In the worst case, a woman diagnosed with postpartum depression might develop negative feelings towards her baby. She might even consider harming the infant.

Causes of postpartum depression

Hormonal changes as well as several non-hormonal factors might cause postpartum depression. Physical changes that a woman experiences during pregnancy and after delivery might make her susceptible to depression.

In a recent study, researchers in Sweden have uncovered a link between postpartum depression and the season in which a woman gives birth. The study, reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, has shown that giving birth in fall or winter increases the risk of postpartum depression.

According to the Swedish researchers, led by Dr. Sara Sylven, chemical pathways in the brain that control mood are affected by daylight exposure. These changes are more noticeable in countries located on distant northern and southern latitudes.

In Sweden, where the study was conducted, the winters are characterized by cold longer nights with very little sunlight during the day. Researchers speculate that secretion of hormones that control our moods might decline during the winter.

Moreover lack of sufficient sunshine, impairs vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Vitamin D deficiency might be responsible for depression. The authors of the Swedish study reported that compared to women who gave birth in April through June, women who had children in October through December has two-fold higher risk of experiencing postpartum depression.


Changes in social relationship might be responsible for postpartum depression. Women who give birth before the age of 20 are most vulnerable to depression after childbirth. Unplanned pregnancy might be responsible for her woes. Blog sobre Ajedrez

Occurrence of a stressful event during pregnancy of after childbirth might be linked to postpartum depression. Relationship problems might trigger depression. Lack of support from family and friends might worsen the emotional health of a new mother. Financial problems might increase her anxiety and worry.

Women with a history of major depression, anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder are prone to depression after delivery. A family history of major depression might increase the risk of postpartum depression.

How to treat postpartum depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression should not be ignored. Although in most cases, signs of mild to moderate depression might subside overtime, women with moderate to severe depression might need medical and psychological help to overcome the blue.

The severity of postpartum depression could be reduced by consuming oily fish. According to researchers omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil could curb signs of depression. These essential fats are needed for the proper development of the nerves and the brain tissues.

In a University of Connecticut study, presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., researchers claimed that consuming sufficient omega-3 fatty acid rich food during pregnancy reduces the risk of postpartum depression after delivery. According to experts, a pregnant woman should consume at least 200mg of DHA, a type of omega-3 fat, daily.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is beneficial for women suffering from postpartum depression. Your psychologist might teach you skills to overcome emotional problems. Interpersonal counseling could improve your relationship with your partner. Counseling could help you deal with the demands of raising a baby. It is advisable to visit a counselor who specializes in postpartum depression counseling.

However, counseling might not be enough for treating women diagnosed with severe postpartum depression. Your psychiatrist might prescribe antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually safe for nursing women.

Small amounts of the ingredients present in the antidepressant medication might enter the baby’s body through breast milk. In recent studies, researchers did not find signs of emotional and/or physical problems in young children whose mother took antidepressants for treating postpartum depression. Usually women with severe postpartum depression are asked to take the antidepressant medication at least for six months.

St. John’s Wort is a popular herb used for treating all forms of depression. However, the herb might interact with other antidepressants. Breastfeeding women should take the herb under medical supervision.

If you are searching for a safe drug free treatment option, yoga and meditation could come to your aid. Meditation might complement medication and counseling. It can improve mood and reduce stress. Practicing meditation at least for about 15 to 20 minutes could reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.

You can even calm your mind by practicing deep breathing exercises. Hypnotherapy is also beneficial for women bothered by depression after delivery. A hypnotherapist might calm your mind. Kundalini yoga that combines deep breathing with meditation might relax your mind. According to yoga experts, proper breathing mechanism balances the hormones in the body and reduces depression.

Postpartum Depression- Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Postpartum Depression- Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Welcoming a baby home might not be the happiest moment in the life of some new mothers. According to mental health experts, mood disturbances occur in almost e





Postpartum Depression- Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Postpartum Depression- Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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