Post Pregnancy

Warning Signs and Treatment for Post Partum Depression

by Patricia Hughes
Post Partum Depression is one of the most common problems women experience after the birth of a baby. It is basically depression that occurs after the birth of a baby. Symptoms don’t always start right away. Women can experience this form of depression any time during the first year of the baby’s life.  
There are many causes of depression in new mothers. A change in hormone levels is thought to be a major cause of depression. Shortly after the baby is born, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body plunge. This drop in hormone levels can trigger feelings of depression. In addition, some women experience low thyroid levels after pregnancy. This can cause feelings of depression. 
Symptoms of Post Partum Depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Frequent crying
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Chest pains
  • Lack of motivation
  • Change in sleep or eating habits
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Trouble making decisions
  • No interest in the baby
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Do you feel depressed every day?
  • Is there a history of depression in your family?
  • Have you previously suffered from depression or anxiety?
  • Have you felt depressed during or after a previous pregnancy?
  • How is your marriage? Marital problems can make symptoms of post partum depression worse.
  • Do you have a support system? It’s important to have friends or family you can talk to about your feelings. 

Contributing Factors of Post Partum Depression – Other factors contribute to depression after a baby is born. A lack of sleep and interrupted sleep patterns can trigger a depressed mood in some women. You will be tired after the delivery of your baby. In addition, new babies wake frequently to be fed during the night. This lack of rest in the early months contributes to feelings of depression. Rest is essential for health. Make up for lost sleep by napping with the baby during the day.

Having a new baby in the house can be overwhelming. You may feel stressed about the new responsibility. You may worry that you’re not up to the task or think you won’t be a good mother. These negative feelings make depressed feelings worse. Talking to other moms can help you get over these feelings. Reading about caring for your new baby may help too.

You may feel stressed after the birth of your baby. Extreme stress can trigger feelings of depression. There are many causes of stress after the birth of a baby. The change in your daily routine, or lack of any routine, can cause you to feel stress. Financial worries or adjusting to living on one paycheck can make you feel stressed too. You need to determine the cause of your stress to feel better. Once you know what is making you feel stressed, you can take steps to deal with it.

Treatment Options for Post Partum Depression – Don’t be afraid to seek help if you are feeling depressed. Talk to your doctor. Post partum depression doesn’t mean you are a bad person or won’t be a good parent. This condition is very common and affects about one in ten new mothers. Your doctor can help you get treatment and feel better. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will feel better.

There are a few different treatment options for depression. Some doctors are quick to reach for the prescription pad and write a prescription for anti depressants. There is nothing wrong with taking anti depressants. There are some that are safe for breastfeeding mothers. Other women find talk therapy to be helpful. The best results come from a combination of medication and therapy. Seek help from a qualified therapist to get to the root of the problem and feel better.

BiographyPatricia Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four. Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. She has written extensively on pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and breastfeeding. In addition, she has written about home décor and travel.

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