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Postpartum Depression – Signs, Causes, and Treatment

Postpartum Depression – Signs, Causes, and Treatment

Published on Jul 06, 2022

Postpartum Depression – Meaning, Signs, Causes, and Treatment Plan

The birth of a baby is an occasion of joy. Motherhood is all about happiness and excitement. But these positive feelings do not come alone. In extreme cases, a condition known as postpartum depression may affect some mothers.

Mothers can also feel anxious and sad. This condition is mentally sapping and leads to problems like poor bonding with the newborn.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression involves mood swings, feelings of anxiousness, fear, and irritability that come from giving birth to a baby.

Postpartum depression is a complicated situation. It involves various behavioral, physical, and emotional changes that can happen to a woman after a baby is born.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) maintains a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The manual is presently in its fifth edition (DSM-V).

As per the DSM-V, postpartum depression is a form of major depression. It usually begins within four weeks after the delivery.

After childbirth, the hormone levels change in a woman’s body. These cause chemical imbalances. 

This, in turn, leads to physiological and psychological changes. These changes manifest in the form of symptoms of depression.

Many people use the term perinatal depression. But it is not the same as postpartum depression.

Perinatal depression refers to depression that occurs both during and after pregnancy. The depression during pregnancy is called prenatal depression. The depression that occurs after giving birth is postpartum depression.

Is postpartum depression the same as baby blues?

You need to remember that postpartum depression is not the same as “baby blues”.

The signs and symptoms of baby blues are similar to that of postpartum depression. However, they are not as severe.

Baby blues usually develop after two to three days of delivery. They subside within two weeks or so.

Postpartum depression is much more severe and lasts longer.

We will discuss in detail the differences between postpartum depression and baby blues later in the article.

Research has found that out of every ten mothers having baby blues, only one develops postpartum depression.

In rare cases, postpartum depression can lead to a much more severe condition. This is called postpartum psychosis. Only one out of one thousand child-bearing women can be affected by it.

Readers should note that the term ‘postpartum depression refers only to women.

But fathers of newborn children can also become depressed. Studies have found that one out of ten new fathers become depressed within one year of childbirth.

Postpartum depression leads to a variety of physical and mental health issues. It is a serious condition that should not be ignored.

Mental healthcare professionals can treat postpartum depression through therapy and medication. We will discuss the treatment of postpartum depression later.

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression

Family members often find it difficult to detect postpartum depression in affected women. This is because many women develop common depressive symptoms after giving birth.

Let us look at these symptoms now.

  • Most women have frequent mood swings after giving birth.
  • Many women have difficulties sleeping. Some women develop insomnia. In some others, sleep patterns become irregular.
  • Some women feel severe fatigue and tiredness.
  • It is a common trait to feel sad.
  • They have lowered libido or sex drive.
  • Feeling disconnected from the newborn.
  • Emotional numbness and loss of interest in a new life.
  • Anxiety and rumination about the major changes in life ad ho to overcome them.
  • Social withdrawal and isolation.

Symptoms of postpartum depression are more severe than baby blues. The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include symptoms that are not typically seen in clinical depression.

If you are a mother who has recently given birth, how can you know if you have postpartum depression?

  • You may lose all interest in your newborn baby.
  • You may not want to bond with your baby.
  • You may feel like you do not want to care for your baby anymore.
  • You may have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.
  • You may be feeling depressed.
  • Your appetite may change. Some women eat more than normal. Some other women eat less. In extreme cases, some women may completely stop eating.
  • You may have frequent mood swings.
  • You may feel like crying all the time without any reason.
  • You may have outbursts of anger for minor reasons.
  • You may be worrying excessively about everything.
  • You may have trouble concentrating on important tasks. Or you may find difficulty in making important decisions.
  • You may have chronic headaches or pain in other parts of your body.
  • You may have thoughts of death or suicide.

When do the symptoms of Postpartum Depression start?

These symptoms usually begin within the first few weeks after giving birth. They may extend well beyond the postpartum period. In some cases, they remain present for up to a few years after giving birth.

In extreme cases, mothers may develop postpartum psychosis. This is a severe and rare condition.

Patients with postpartum psychosis show the following symptoms.

  • Patients appear confused and disoriented.
  • Patients experience hallucinations and delusions.
  • Affected patients may have trouble sleeping. Some may not sleep at all.
  • Some people may also sleep for hours continuously.
  • Patients may feel agitated and excited for no reason.
  • Mothers have obsessive thoughts about their babies. This includes thoughts of harming the baby.

On rare occasions, other mental disorders can also develop in women after childbirth.

In 1-3% of cases, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can develop. The mother becomes obsessed with the baby’s health. They may develop an irrational fear that someone will harm their baby.

In some other cases, panic disorder can also occur. Postpartum depression is a type of mood disorder and thus consists of terrible mood swings and apathy.

But the good news is, like any other mental illness, postpartum depression can also be treated. We will discuss the treatment of postpartum depression in later sections.

Risk factors for postpartum depression

Many mothers may feel like postpartum depression is their fault. They may blame themselves for feeling depressed. But this is not true.

Several reasons may lead to the development of postpartum depression.

A risk factor is any factor that increases the probability of developing a disease. Some people also call risk factors or determinants of the illness.

Think of it in simple terms. These factors increase your risk of developing a particular disease.

Research studies have linked postpartum depression with certain risk factors. Let us take a look at them.

  • Women with a family history of depression are more prone to develop postpartum depression.
  • Women with bipolar disorder may exhibit postpartum depression symptoms.
  • Women having a history of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) may develop postpartum depression.
  • If the newborn child has major health problems, the mother may develop postpartum depression. We can consider the mother of a terminally ill child as an example of this case.
  • Some mothers may have difficulties in breastfeeding. They may not produce a sufficient quantity of breast milk. Or in some cases, the child cannot latch on properly. This may result in the mother becoming depressed.
  • If the child is conceived at an older age, it increases the risk of postpartum depression in the mother. 

This list of risk factors is not exhaustive. The stressful events in the mother’s life during the year before childbirth also act as major risk factors.

Stressful circumstances and PPD

Take a look at some examples of these stressful events.

  • Loss of job or other financial troubles
  • Major physical health problem
  • Difficulty in conceiving the child
  • Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  • Relationship problems including divorce or strife
  • Problems during pregnancy
  • Complications during birth
  • Lack of support from family and friends

Many people think that postpartum depression can occur only once. But this is a false belief. In fact, the exact opposite of this is true. 

Researchers have found that the risk of postpartum depression increases during subsequent pregnancies.

Mothers who give birth to twins or triplets are also at greater risk of postpartum depression.

We have mentioned several risk factors for postpartum depression. But remember, these are just potential factors. These do not guarantee the development of postpartum depression.

For example, if you have bipolar disorder during childbirth, this does not necessarily mean that you would want to hurt yourself or your baby.

Now let us talk about the potential causes of postpartum depression.

What causes postpartum depression?

Till this date, researchers have not been able to identify a single fixed cause of postpartum depression. 

Experts estimate that a combination of several physical and emotional factors may lead to postpartum depression.

1. Hormonal Changes 

After a woman gives birth, the estrogen and progesterone levels in the body reduce sharply. Other hormones produced by the thyroid gland may also decrease. 

In the female body, estrogen and progesterone levels reach ten times their normal value during pregnancy. 

This sudden decrease in a very short time after childbirth has drastic effects on the body. As a result, women may feel sluggish, tired, and depressed. 

2. Changes in sleep pattern 

Lack of sleep is a common occurrence after giving birth. This leads to cranky behaviors and mood swings. Because the body does not get sufficient rest, women may get agitated for the smallest reasons. 

3. Anxiety 

Researchers do not know exactly whether anxiety leads to postpartum depression or if it is the other way round. 

But worrying about the newborn child is completely normal for a mother. Excessive worrying may damage the mother’s health. 

4. Self-image issues

Many women face an identity crisis after giving birth. This is because they bear the child for a long time. 

After the birth of the baby, they may feel that a part of them has been taken away. Many women also feel that they have become unattractive and ugly. 

These issues may escalate to postpartum depression. 

If you feel that any of these causes are applicable to you, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor for assistance.

How long does postpartum depression last?

We discussed the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression in a previous section. You will remember that some signs of postpartum depression are similar to baby blues.

Many mothers feel sad, nervous, or anxious after giving birth. This may happen because of baby blues.

Studies show that 70% of mothers show at least some symptoms of baby blues after giving birth. These symptoms may subside within a few hours. 

In some cases, they may last up to one or two weeks. Naturally, new mothers and fathers may get confused by this. 

But doctors never give any advice, diagnosis, or treatment for baby blues. These symptoms go away without any treatment.

But if these symptoms last beyond two weeks, mothers should consult with their doctor. The doctor conducts a postpartum checkup. This may also include blood tests to check hormone levels.

If the doctor diagnoses a case of postpartum depression, he or she makes a treatment plan. This may include therapy or medication, or both.

With the correct treatment, postpartum depression can go away within a few weeks. Otherwise, it may last up to several months.

Readers should note that in some cases, the symptoms of postpartum depression appear much later. 

The mother may feel completely normal for a long time after giving birth. The symptoms of postpartum depression may appear suddenly even one year after the birth.

Treatment for postpartum depression

Healthcare providers can recommend several types of treatment for postpartum depression. This depends on the severity of the depression. It also depends on the medical history of the patient.

Let us now take a look at some of these techniques.

1. Medication

Doctors may prescribe antidepressants to help mothers deal with depressive symptoms. These medicines help restore the balance of hormones and other chemicals in the body.

You must mention this to your doctor if you are a breastfeeding mother. Some drugs can get transmitted to the baby through breast milk. 

Depending on your condition, the doctor decides whether a particular antidepressant is safe for you or not.

Some antidepressants may also have other side effects. Make sure to reveal your entire medical history to your doctor.

Lastly, do not abruptly stop any medication without consulting your doctor.

2. Psychotherapy

Several types of psychotherapy can be used to treat postpartum depression. 

Research has shown that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) have been especially helpful.

Before deciding to take psychotherapy, you must consult with your primary doctor. You should also note that psychotherapy is a long-term process and it may not give immediate results.

Ensure that you are taking the therapy services from a licensed psychologist or counselor or a psychiatrist.

3. Hormone Therapy

Doctors recommend hormone therapy only if they are certain that postpartum depression is due to changing estrogen and progesterone levels. 

Many doctors feel hesitant about this type of therapy because it usually has long-term side effects on the mood and behavior of the mother. 

So, they use it as a last option when other forms of therapy are not working.

4. Electroconvulsive Therapy

Doctors may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for more serious cases. Some people also call it “electroshock therapy”.

Many people feel that ECT is a painful process. But this is not true. Doctors first give anesthesia to the patient. Then they give electrical stimulation to the brain.

ECT is helpful in treating highly severe, psychotic, or suicidal depression.

5. Self-Help Strategies

For mild cases of postpartum depression, following some self-help tips may be sufficient. But make sure to consult with your doctor first. 

Your doctor is the best person to decide whether your postpartum depression is mild or not.

6. Support Groups

Support groups may also be helpful as a secondary treatment strategy. In a support group, many mothers with their newborn children visit a commonplace. 

There, a mediator or counselor conducts an informal discussion. Mothers share their problems and talk with each other. 

This can help one mother find solutions to her problems. Socialization with other babies is also helpful for the proper development of a child.

Postpartum depression – self-care strategies

Sometimes treatment is not needed for postpartum depression. There are several self-help tips that can help a mother deal with it.

If you are suffering from postpartum depression, the following tips can help you. 

1. Prioritize self-care

You should always give importance to your physical as well as mental health.

2. Practice stress reduction exercises 

These kinds of exercises might include breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, and guided imagery. 

With the help of these calming exercises, you will be able to deal with your anxiety and depression in a better way. 

3. Accept help from friends and loved ones 

There is no harm in communicating your needs and wants to the people around you. You can always rely on your friends and family members for emotional support.

4. Make efforts in bonding with your baby  

In postpartum depression, it is common to feel disinterested in the baby. But try to spend as much time as possible with your baby. 

It will help to build a strong connection between you and your baby. A strong mother-child attachment is crucial in improving the quality of life of the baby.  

5. Attend a local support group 

Support groups can help to build a social connection. By attending a support group, you can meet other mothers like you. 

You may share your problems with them and gather better insight into the problem. In this way, you will also learn the solutions to some of your own problems. 

Lastly, social interaction with other babies will help the mental growth of your baby as well. 

6. Reach out for professional help 

If you feel overwhelmed, do not be ashamed to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you deal with your feelings. 

If you have suicidal thoughts, please call a medical emergency helpline. In the United States of America, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day for service and assistance.

How to help a friend with postpartum depression?

Emotional support from friends and loved ones can be really helpful for a person suffering from postpartum depression.

So, if you have a friend who is suffering from postpartum depression, make yourself available.

Often, people suffering from postpartum depression may need someone to talk to. 

You, as a listener, should carefully listen to what they want to share. You must also provide validation to their emotions and thoughts.

Postpartum depression patients often feel isolated. So, if you just actively listen to what your friend says, this might be beneficial for them. 

Make sure to give your undivided attention. Do not judge them for anything they say.

It is also important to understand that you are not a qualified mental health professional. A friendly conversation is not the same as talk therapy. So, do not provide any unsolicited advice to your friend.

Manifestation of postpartum depression is different in every person. 

So, even if you had experienced postpartum depression yourself before, the situation may be different for your friend. Your advice may do more harm than good.

Make sure to be there for your friend as a pillar of support. A little bit of love can help postpartum depression patients a lot.

Postpartum blues vs. Postpartum depression

Postpartum blues mean the same as baby blues.

On the surface, symptoms of baby blues may seem similar to postpartum depression. But medical professionals state that the two are quite different.

Postpartum Blues or Baby BluesPostpartum Depression (PPD)
The US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines baby blues as “mild mood swings that occur in a mother after childbirth”. The US Department of Health and Human Services defines postpartum depression as a “type of mood disorder that mostly occurs in mothers after childbirth”.
Baby blues is not a serious mental health disorder.The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual by the American Psychiatric Association) officially lists postpartum depression as a type of major depressive disorder.
Baby blues is a common phenomenon. 70-80% of mothers experience some symptoms after giving birth.Postpartum depression is relatively uncommon as compared to regular baby blues. Only 10% of mothers may suffer from it.
Baby blues may develop within a few days after the child is born.Doctors claim that postpartum depression may exist if the symptoms of baby blues persist even after two or three weeks after childbirth. In some cases, the mother may be completely normal after giving birth, but suddenly the symptoms arise even one year after the childbirth.
The major symptom of baby blues is mood swings. Mothers may feel happy one moment. The next moment they are sad. Soon after, they may feel scared.Postpartum depression usually causes the mothers to remain sad, depressed, irritated, and anxious.
Baby blues often heal without an issue. Light exercises, walking outdoors, eating a healthy diet, and getting sufficient sleep can help.Postpartum depression requires proper treatment. Doctors may recommend therapy or medication, or both.
Symptoms of baby blues often go away within a couple of weeks.With the correct treatment, postpartum depression usually heals within a few months.
Postpartum Blues Vs. Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression vs. postpartum anxiety

Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are closely related. Some medical experts have used the term “postpartum depression” as an umbrella term. 

It refers to those disorders that occur during the postpartum period. These might include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), psychosis, and anxiety.

But the grouping of all these disorders under a single term increases a lot of confusion. Some women might feel low during or after pregnancy. This does not necessarily mean that they are experiencing depression. 

The concepts of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are overlapping. 

Hence, it is important for new mothers to recognize this. They should know whether their feelings are due to postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

We will now discuss the differences between the two.

Postpartum Depression (PPD)Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)
PPD is a form of major depression.PPA is a “cousin” of postpartum depression.
This can cause mothers to feel extremely sad. They may even feel disinterested in their newborn.This usually gets manifested in the form of worry.
This might cause tears and hopelessness.This is characterized by fears, obsessive concerns, scary thoughts, and irritability.
Diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression are relatively easier. Postpartum anxiety is harder to diagnose. Doctors often call it a “hidden disorder”.
In postpartum depression, mothers sometimes worry about their children. These worries are not completely unjustified. This is because caring for a newborn is not an easy task. In postpartum anxiety, the worries are irrational. For example, the mother might think that the child’s father would drop the child. 
Postpartum depression may include some symptoms that are not commonly seen in depression. Mood swings, sleeplessness, and lower libido are some common traits. Apart from excessive worry, mothers also face a lack of concentration. They have a rapid heartbeat. Nausea and dizziness may also occur.
Postpartum depression Vs. Postpartum anxiety

Postpartum depression in men and its signs

We have mentioned several times in this article that postpartum depression usually occurs in females. But it can occur in males too.

There are no established symptom criteria in the case of males. In men, postpartum depression can manifest itself in the form of irritability, restricted emotions, and depression. 

Other signs of postpartum depression in men might include the following.

  1. Lack of motivation to do usual routine activities
  2. Sudden outbursts, anger, or violent behavior for no apparent reason
  3. Inability to concentrate on any activity
  4. Engaging in risky, impulsive behaviors
  5. Use of harmful substances (alcohol or drugs)
  6. Recurrent suicidal thoughts or ideation
  7. Withdrawal from relationships
  8. Working too much or too less.

Apart from these, Somatic symptoms may be present in the form of headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches, or digestion issues.

Risk factors for men

Numerous risk factors play a role in the development of postpartum depression in men. These factors might include a history of depression, marital discord, poverty, maternal depression, and unintended pregnancy. 

There might be other potential risk factors like sleep deprivation and disrupted circadian rhythm.

Some experts also believe that hormonal changes can play an active role in this case. 

A father might experience hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. Scientists assume that these changes have an effect on the formation of father-child bonding. 

For example, studies have shown that there is an association between decreased testosterone levels in new fathers and increased sympathetic responses to a crying baby. 

As a result, it helps to strengthen the father’s attachment with the newborn child. 

Apart from testosterone, blood tests reveal an increase in other hormones as well. 

Research shows that increase in cortisol, vasopressin, and prolactin results in more engaged paternal parenting. It also leads to a stronger attachment between parent and infant.

These hormonal changes in the father can predispose him to develop postpartum depression. They might also worsen the already existing symptoms associated with postpartum depression.

For example, low levels of testosterone have been correlated with symptoms of depression in males. 

Likewise, low levels of estrogen, vasopressin, prolactin, and cortisol in new fathers have been linked with difficulty in the formation of father-infant relationships. This, in turn, can lead to depressed moods in fathers.

Hence, it is important that clinicians screen for depression in men during the first year of the postpartum period. In case of the presence of depression during a postpartum checkup, treatment must be offered.

Postpartum depression test / postpartum depression screening methods

There does not exist a specific test to diagnose postpartum depression. Healthcare providers recommend doing a postpartum checkup once every three weeks.

Doctors ask the mothers a series of questions to determine their health conditions. They may also conduct physical checkups including a pelvic checkup. Some women also have to take blood tests.

Some screening tools can help diagnose postpartum depression. 

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is an example of such a screening test. It includes ten questions related to symptoms of depression. 

The test conductor asks the mother to indicate the response that describes their feelings in the last seven days. A higher test score indicates a diagnosis of postpartum depression.

But the total EPDS scores correlate with the type of disorder. Women with no disorder, i.e., none of the postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, have the lowest scores. 

Women with anxiety only have the second-lowest score. Women with depression only score slightly higher. Finally, women with both depression and anxiety have the highest scores. 

But we should remember that these screening tools are not fully accurate. Still, they help to identify women with clinically significant symptoms. The test administrator can get an idea about which women should receive treatment.

How can men help their wives overcome postpartum depression

Helping a partner cope with depression can be a challenging task. This is especially daunting for postpartum depression because the couple also has a newborn to look after.

So, fathers should have a basic idea of how to handle such situations. Otherwise, improper actions can make the situation even worse.

In most cases, recovery from postpartum depression takes a very long time. So, it is necessary for the man to have patience and help his wife get out of the situation.

Some suggestions are listed below. A man might adopt these to make their wife’s life better. 

1. Make yourself available 

In the majority of the cases, new mothers experience loneliness or desolation. Thus, professionals suggest the husband spend as much time possible with them. 

2. Give your partner some “me” time 

Identity changes often act as a trigger for postpartum depression in new mothers. So, professionals advise men to give their partner some “me” time which might enhance their mental well-being.

3. Help around the house 

It often gets difficult for a new mother to manage both their newborn as well their home. Spare some time from your busy schedule and help her with some household chores.

4. Let your partner sleep 

As already mentioned before, there is a link between sleep deprivation and postpartum depression. 

Since the baby has an erratic sleep schedule, it might interfere with uninterrupted sleep. So, it is important that you divide the nighttime parenting equally with your wife. 

5. Feed your partner a nutritious diet

Incorporate some healthy eating habits in your wife. Since she is the one feeding the baby, it is important that she stays healthy. 

6. Reassure your wife that she is a good parent 

It is very common for new mothers to doubt themselves about being good mothers. Make sure to make them think otherwise by pointing out how much hard work she puts in every day to raise the baby. 

Postpartum depression negative impact on the baby

The impact of postpartum depression on babies can be far-reaching. The frequent crying spell of the mother with a lack of attachment for the baby can make the baby feel less loved and isolated. 

The child may not be fed well. Even basic care of the baby can be greatly undermined. Since postpartum depression affects the mother’s mood and energy levels, the child will be deprived of basic care and affection.

No close attachment of the mother with the baby means the mother considers her baby as a burden or an added responsibility in the family. Sometimes, this feeling can lead to neglect and maltreatment of the infant.

Some of the negative consequences of postpartum depression on a baby are as follows:

  • Reduced emotional attachment of the mother to her baby
  • Neglect of the baby
  • Depriving the baby of basic care like feeding, changing, and daily needs
  • Higher levels of irritation of the mother lead to a lack of love for the child
  • The poor emotional growth of the child
  • Loss of proper eye contact in the first few weeks due to neglect from the mother can affect the child to form a secure identity for themselves.
  • Rejection and avoiding the baby can lead to a cranky newborn
  • Lack of good language development in children
  • Poor school grades
  • Lack of skilled socialization insecure and fearful child
  • Poor self-confidence
  • Behavior problems in school
  • Attention-seeking behaviors

How common is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is quite common and can affect mothers from all age groups. The birth of a newborn can be physically taxing and mentally overwhelming for any mother.

A study finding shows that I in 7 women can develop symptoms of postpartum depression. 

Having small bouts of gloom or anxiety can affect mothers from the moment of childbirth to a few weeks after the process. 

A question that appears in our minds is whether postpartum depression occurs in all mothers? The answer is no. 

Postpartum depression is a prevalent disorder but that doesn’t mean it happens to each and every new mom. 

Baby blues can happen due to several hormonal changes, a sudden shift in daily life, and lifestyle changes that can feel overwhelming.

These baby blues go away easily in a few days or weeks’ time. Postpartum depression takes a more severe shape than baby blues.

Studies have shown that out of 10 women 1 woman develops symptoms just after giving birth to the baby. 

Why does postpartum depression happen?

Postpartum depression occurs after childbirth due to a hormonal drop in the female body. The lady feels tired and depleted of her innate resources.

Sometimes lack of caregivers and supportive hands at home can make the woman look after the baby day and night. Lots of overwhelming emotions and negativity can cloud their rational way of thinking.

As a result, frequent crying spells, mood swings, anger, and frustration can take a toll on the woman’s health.

How would you know if you have postpartum depression?

If you have the following symptoms that are not getting better by any other means or self-copying, you need to make an appointment with the doctor for early diagnosis and intervention.

  • Frequent crying spells
  • Feeling irritated all the time
  • Poor appetite
  • Lack of self-care
  • Lack of sleep
  • No interest in taking care of the baby
  • Feeling tired and sleepy all the time
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of clarity about the things going on around you

Complications of Untreated postpartum depression

If you are suffering from mood swings and regular bouts of crying after the birth of your baby, you need to become more aware of its long-term consequences. 

This condition can interfere with your daily routine. Rather your relationship with friends, family, spouse, and even the small little one can get affected badly.

Complications for you

  • Poor quality of life
  • Low energy levels or undefined fatigue
  • Emotionally distant from others
  • Making yourself unavailable for your partner or baby
  • Suicidal ideation

Complications that can happen to your partner

  • Poor intimacy
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Feelings of being deprived of love and attention

Complications for the baby

  • Insecure attachment
  • Growing up as a fearful and shy child
  • Inadequate cognitive and language development
  • Poor emotional regulation, thus becoming a cranky baby

Can postpartum depression occur after a miscarriage?

Experiencing a miscarriage is mentally draining and emotionally overwhelming. If someone has recently suffered a miscarriage, the chances of developing grief-like symptoms, sadness, and even depression are higher.

The mourning that follows pregnancy loss can complicate the patient’s ability to handle situations in later pregnancies. 

If the mother is expecting again after a previous miscarriage, she may suffer from mild to moderate symptoms of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and mood irritation.

In certain situations, overwhelming emotions can be all-consuming. The woman suffers from intense sadness, anger, guilt, and worthlessness. They may self-blame the loss of their earlier pregnancy.

All these negative feelings can trigger feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Things may not ease up soon and symptoms of postpartum depression may set in early.

Postpartum depression statistics

The prevalence rate of postpartum depression is quite high. It is a common mental health ailment that follows pregnancy and childbirth.

Postpartum depression books

Here we have a few best-sellers on postpartum depression. A thorough reading will help you understand how it affects women of all age groups. 

The video link shared below shows the various signs and causal factors of postpartum depression. Do check out.

Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’

Needless to say that postpartum depression is crippling and can turn into major depression if timely intervention is not done. 

Recovery may take time and patience but it’s possible and the patient can overcome their gloom in due course of time.

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