Postpartum Depression 6/2010
Did you know?
Postpartum depression can affect women and men?
Postpartum Depression is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, after childbirth. Postpartum depression is treatable. Studies show prevalence rates up to 25% in new mothers.
Postpartum depression can be confused with maternity blues if the individual is not aware of the difference between the two. "Maternity blues" or "baby blues" affect 50 to 80 percent of all mothers in the early postpartum period. Maternity blues are not considered a postpartum disorder, but a normal response to hormonal fluctuations. Although for most women the blues are short-lived, evidence suggests that women who experience them have an increased risk for postpartum depression later in the postpartum period, especially if the blues symptoms were severe. Postpartum depression may begin anywhere from 24 hours to several months after delivery.
What are the symptoms of Postpartum Depression?
- Loss of interest or pleasure in life;
- Loss of appetite;
- Less energy and motivation to do things;
- A hard time falling asleep or staying asleep;
- Sleeping more than usual;
- Increased crying and tearfulness;
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, or overly guilty;
- Feeling restless;
- Irritability, anxiety;
- Unexplained weight loss or gain;
- Feeling like life isn’t worth living;
- Thoughts about hurting yourself; and
- Worrying about hurting your baby.
How does Postpartum Depression develop?
Although the origins of postpartum disorders are complex, research suggests that biological factors contribute significantly to the onset of these illnesses. Following birth, the levels of progesterone and estrogen drop suddenly in a woman’s body. It may well be that maternity blues are related to withdrawal of progesterone following delivery. Normal hormonal changes that take place after childbirth trigger alterations in brain chemistry, fostering depression. The shifts may cause an imbalance and are known to affect mood, and may be the cause of postpartum depression.
Who is most likely to develop Postpartum Depression?
Up to 70 percent of women with postpartum illness have no previous psychiatric history.The following are some predictors associated with postpartum depression: Single mothers;
- Women with unplanned pregnancies;
- Women who have poor relationships with their own mothers;
- Depression during pregnancy;
- Unrealistic expectations of motherhood;
- Delivery of a premature infant; and
- A temperamentally difficult baby.
This can be difficult but the sooner you ask for help, the sooner you will start feeling better. Call your health care provider and ask about counseling, support groups, other treatment options. Talk with your family or friends. Let others know you need help or have worries. Take care of yourself now so you can better care for your baby and build a loving bond.
If you ever have thoughts of harming your baby or yourself,
call your health care provider immediately!
If you do not have health coverage or you have Medicaid, contact the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine for help finding low cost medical or Medicaid options in your area. Dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588.
Get more information
There are lots of online information resources. Find some resources below.
Idaho Postpartum Depression Hospital-Based Support Groups
familydoctor.org - Postpartum Depression
webMD.com - Postpartum Depression
saferchild.org - Postpartum Depression