Depression is one of the most common complications during and after pregnancy. Postpartum depression can be mild or moderate, but can be treated by psychotherapy or medications. However, if a woman’s depression is severe, she may be given both treatments.
Women who experience severe premenstrual syndrome tend to suffer from postpartum depression after pregnancy. Mothers with postpartum depression love their newborns, but feel incapable of becoming good mothers.
There are numerous reasons why pregnancy can make a woman depressed. A stressful event and hormone changes are the two leading factors that could trigger of depression, which could cause chemical changes in a woman’s brain. Sometimes, the cause of depression is unknown.
Sometimes, the levels of thyroid [tag-tec]hormones[/tag-tec] drop dramatically after giving birth. Low levels of thyroid could cause various symptoms of depression, including irritability, mood changes, fatigue, sleep problems, changes in appetite, weight loss/gain, suicidal thoughts, intense panic or anxiety and difficulty of concentrating. A blood test can detect if a women is have depressions due to thyroid problems. When this is the case, thyroid medications are prescribed after pregnancy.
Categories Of Depression After Pregnancy
The mood swings and other changes in a woman’s body after pregnancy are classified into three categories – baby blues, postpartum psychosis and postpartum depression.
“Baby blues” is a common experience for new mothers during the first few days after pregnancy. When this occurs, women may feel extremely happy or overly sad – both with unexplainable crying. However, this experience normally resolves after two weeks even without treatments.
Postpartum [tag-ice]psychosis[/tag-ice] affects only one in every 1,000 new mothers. This is the most serious type of condition after pregnancy, causing bizarre behavior, self-neglect, confusion, hallucinations, delusions and illogical thoughts, which are often about the newborn. For this reason, it requires immediate treatments and constant supervision.
Postpartum depression, on the other hand, has more severe symptoms than baby blues and affects more women (about 15%) after childbirth. Unfortunately, the symptoms of postpartum depression are not easy to identify because most of its symptoms are similar to the normal changes experienced after pregnancy.
Post Pregnancy Depression: Prevention And Treatments
Many women are ashamed of telling anyone about how they feel during and after [tag-cat]pregnancy[/tag-cat] because of fear being called “unfit” mothers. However, it is important to understand that you don’t have to suffer from these negative thoughts and bad moods because you could share these feelings and depressions to other women who are experiencing the same thing. Make sure you discuss any concerns and treatments with your health care professional.
Some female groups and organizations offer group therapies in helping women with postpartum depression. This way, they could learn to overcome the symptoms and feel better about themselves, their babies and their lives.
Any kind of “talk therapy” can work. If you prefer to speak with a psychologist, therapist or social worker, you can ask them for help to learn how to alter your moods, actions and thoughts into something positive.
Some doctors recommend antidepressant medications to help relieve the symptoms of postpartum depression. However, you should consult your doctor about the pros and cons of taking antidepressants when breastfeeding. Your doctor could provide you with the most appropriate approach for both you and your baby.
If you don’t want to take medicines while breastfeeding, you should try to rest as much as you can. Ask other members of your household to do the chores for you. This allows you to reduce stress from adjusting with a new baby.
Although you should not spend time alone, you can treat yourself with a massage or spa. This can give back the self-esteem you lost during depression. Make sure to share how you feel with your partner and talk to your mother if you need advice and help with the baby.
Pregnancy should always be good news. However, if you feel depressed for no reason, you should never be ashamed because it is a normal part of a woman’s life.