Postpartum depression (PPD), also called
postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth,
which can affect both sexes. Most women experience a brief period of worry or
unhappiness after delivery, while postpartum depression should be suspected
when symptoms are severe and last over two weeks. PPD is not a character flaw
or a weakness. It usually onset after one week and one month of childbirth, and
can also affect the newborn child negatively.
PPD affects about 15% of women around
childbirth, and affects about 1% to 26% of new fathers. Postpartum psychosis is
a more severe form of postpartum mood disorder that occurs in about 1 to 2 per
1,000 women following childbirth. Postpartum psychosis is one of the main
causes of the murder of children less than one year of age. This occurs in
about 8 per 100,000 births in America.
There are many causes and related factors
of PPD, including:
- A history of depression.
- Have bipolar disorder.
- Had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy.
- Family members have depression or other mood disorders.
- Have experienced stressful events during the past year, such as
pregnancy complications, illness or job loss.
- Baby has health problems.
- Have twins, triplets or other multiple births.
- Have difficulty on breast-feeding.
- Financial problems.
- The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted.
- Have a baby at a very early age.
- Tired after labor and delivery.
- Tired from a lack of sleep.
- Overwhelmed with a new baby.
- Doubts about their ability to be a good mother.
- Stress from changes in work and home routines.
- Grief about loss of who they were before having the baby.
- Less attractive.
- A lack of free time.
There are many symptoms of PPD, followings
are some typical symptoms that you should notice:
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings.
- Excessive crying for no reason.
- Difficulty bonding with your baby.
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual.
- Cannot fall in sleep. Sleep too much.
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy.
- Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.
- Intense irritability and anger.
- Fear that you’re not a good mother.
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy.
- Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make
- Severe anxiety.
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Only a doctor can diagnose postpartum
depression. If you have any symptoms of PPD, you should go to see a doctor in
time. Doctors need know your thoughts and symptoms, and may also need some
tests, such as a depression screening and blood tests.
PPD can develop into postpartum psychosis
and affect the baby and family, so treat it in time is necessary. Some
treatment options may include:
Symptoms of PPD can be relieved after a
period of treatment, while it can recur or continue in some cases.
Some tips may be helpful to relieve the
symptoms of PPD.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices and have regular exercise, such as yoga.
- Have enough rest and sleep.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Set simple goals and don’t give yourself too much pressure.
- Have your own time to get out of the house. You can do something you enjoy, such your hobbies or some entertainments.
- Avoid isolation. Talk with your husband, your family members about your feelings.
- Ask for help if you find you cannot take care of the baby on your own.
- Use B vitamins, fish oil, turmeric can be helpful.
- Eat more dark leafy greens, whole grains, and other fruits.
Please go to see a doctor if you have any
Keywords: postpartum depression; PPD; postnatal