Health Post Pregnancy

Understanding Postpartum Depression

It is essential that women and men to understand a common form of depression that sometimes occurs after pregnancy. Postpartum depression, and the most common signs and symptoms associated with this medical condition are discussed...

Sad woman supported by husbandWelcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting experience for parents. This particular event marks the beginning of many new experiences and life-changing events. However, there are many women who experience complications with mood swings immediately following the birth of a child. This is referred to as “postpartum depression”. It is essential that women and men understand this common form of depression. Here, you will learn about postpartum depression, the most common signs and symptoms associated with this medical condition, and more.

Postpartum depression is normally classified into three different categories. These categories range from mild to severe. The first type of postpartum depression is simply referred to as the “baby blues”. Normally, within a few days, a mother may start to experience a variety of emotions that may seem stronger than any that they have ever previously experienced. This type of depression has been known to last for up to a couple of weeks immediately following the delivery of a child.

This condition is actually considered to be quite normal as it is a side effect of fluctuating hormones. Mothers and fathers alike can rest assured that the baby blues are not an indication of mental illness. Furthermore, while the feelings of depression and irritability may be uncomfortable for the parents, it will not interfere with the capacity of the mother to properly care for her child or herself. It is simply a stage that will pass as the hormones resume their normal composition in the body.

The second category of postpartum depression in new mothers is a tad bit more serious. Not every female that gives birth to a child will experience this form of depression. However, there are a few that will. When a female encounters this state of mind, it may become difficult to properly care for herself and the new baby. However, if this form of depression is dealt with in a proper manner and treated, it can quickly be eliminated. The only problem is that many parents do not seek assistance with this type of mood complication immediately.

There are many common signs and symptoms associated with the second stage of postpartum depression, or “nonpsychotic” depression. They are as follows:

  • The woman may feel extremely depressed, yet cannot identify a reason for why this is occurring.
  • There may be times when the mother is unable to concentrate appropriately.
  • There may be suppression in the appetite, or the female may overindulge when it comes to eating.
  • Fatigue may be a common symptom with this form of postpartum depression. Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep may also be common.
  • Many women may find that they lose interest in things that they once enjoyed.
  • There are some women who feel as if they are no good at parenting, or they may worry consistently about various aspects of the health of their new child.
  • Some mothers who experience this type of depression after pregnancy may consider committing suicide. In some cases, a woman may actually have thoughts where they want to do harm to a child. However, in nearly 100% of the cases, the mother will never act on these thoughts in any way whatsoever.

It is important for women and men alike to become familiar with the second type of postpartum depression. It is to be understood that a female who has understanding from her family and friends, support and assistance from these individuals, and as little stress as possible often recover from this type of depression quickly and successfully.

The third type of postpartum depression is often the most challenging and is definitely the most severe. It is important for both women and men to understand that this type of after pregnancy depression requires medical attention. Though this type of depression is extremely rare, it can be experienced. As a parent, you should learn to identify the symptoms associated with this type so that you know when it is time to get help. Here, you will find the symptoms most often associated with this form of postpartum depression:

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations may be experienced by the mother who experiences this type of psychosis.
  • The woman may start to experience delusions, or a series of false beliefs.
  • Individuals who experience mood disorders, such as various types of psychosis or even bipolar disorder, may experience this form of depression after pregnancy.
  • Mood swings and varying levels of irritability are quite common with this type of postpartum depression.
  • Many women may have thoughts of hurting their new child, or other children, and may attempt to act on these thoughts.

If postpartum depression is experienced, there are many different kinds of treatments that can be pursued. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Individual and group therapy sessions to address the specific psychological symptoms and needs.
  • Sharing the issue with friends and family members so that they can be supportive during this time.
  • There are many different kinds of medications that can be issued to treat depression and the various symptoms associated with depression.

If you are a parent, or are about to become a parent, it is important to ensure that you understand postpartum depression and all the symptoms that are associated with this particular condition. Though it is a common issue, it is important to understand that it is also often a quite misunderstood condition. The more that you learn about this form of depression that occurs after pregnancy, the more successful the recovery process will be if it is experienced. Remember to always consult with a qualified physician. This article is not meant to diagose or recommend any specific treatments.

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © 2007 All Rights Reserved
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