Women's bodies go through many physical and emotional changes during and after the birth of a baby. Ranging from emotions of joy and excitement to overwhelming fear of responsibility and anxiety, there are a lot of things to deal with. As a result, women need to seek postpartum depression treatments to prepare themselves for experiences of motherhood.
During their early pregnancy stages, many expecting women try to learn what treatments are available for postpartum depression. The reason is that this common condition can complicate motherhood for a new mother. So, learn everything about it in the further sections of this article. We hope the article makes motherhood beautiful for you or someone you know.
What Is PPD or Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a form of emotional low women experience after giving birth to a child. The word postpartum means 'after childbirth'; hence, this condition is called postpartum depression.
In simpler words, women experience an empty or depressive phase after giving birth because childbirth is a life-changing experience. To be specific, this feeling develops in women due to sudden social, psychological, and hormonal changes. Along with it, there are a range of emotional and physical changes that new mothers experience. It increases mood swings, restlessness, and sadness.
Even though this condition is common, people should not take postpartum depression lightly, as it can turn serious for the mother and the new baby. The signs of postpartum depression usually become visible after 2 to 3 weeks of childbirth. And without proper postpartum depression treatments, the depressive condition can last up to several days.
Contributing Factors of Postpartum Depression
According to researchers, approximately 85% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. The only difference is that most women face mild baby blues phases. And other women might develop severe problems like postpartum psychosis and depression.
Despite the huge number of women suffering from this problem, the exact cause of the problem is still unknown. But below are some common contributing factors that trigger medical conditions like postpartum depression:
During pregnancy, women have high levels of estrogen and progesterone production in their bodies. However, within some time of giving birth, the hormone levels drawback to the normal state. And the sudden drop in the hormone level contributes to the development of a depressive state in a new mother.
History of Mental Issues
Women who have mental issues or depressive problems before pregnancy are likely to experience postpartum depression. Mental health disorders like anxiety before pregnancy can trigger sadness or restlessness in women after childbirth.
Psychological or Emotional stress
Women who face stressful events and emotional changes around the time of childbirth might need postpartum depression treatments. It is so because the experiences and events add to the stressful journey of becoming a good mother. For example, losing a loved one, marital conflicts, and financial stresses are too much to handle for a postpregnancy brain.
You might have heard that doctors ask women to stress less during pregnancy. That is because it can cause pregnancy complications. The pregnancy complications such as a traumatic birth experience or unprecedented cesarean sections can stress out pregnant women. It increases the risk of developing PPD.
Even in today's time, people have unrealistic expectations with women about motherhood. The pressure of matching societal standards and being a good mother leads a new mother to feel inadequate or guilty. So, it leads to emotional distress, which can further convert into postpartum depression.
Also, if a woman does not have strong social support in the postpartum period, like family or friends becomes more vulnerable. And also prone to developing postpartum mental disorders.
In some cases, factors like ambivalence about pregnancy, sleep deprivation, or having a baby with special needs also add to the risk of developing PPD. A history of premenstrual disorders might trigger this condition, too.
Symptoms for Postpartum Depression
Many women feel overwhelmed after childbirth. Apart from tiredness, they also have different feelings all over the place, and that's why this condition is also called baby blues. In general, the symptoms of postpartum depression differ from woman to woman.
A new mother might have postpartum depression; she has the following symptoms:
- a persistent, overwhelming feeling post childbirth
- frequent shift in mood followed by anger and crankiness
- Change in eating habits
- feeling a disconnect with the baby or not being able to accept it
- fear of being a worthless or bad parent
- having intense emotions like emptiness, sadness, or anxiety all the time
- insomnia or trouble sleeping
- lacking motivation to do things
- crying or feeling like crying without knowing the reason
- withdrawing or moving away from family and friends
- having trouble in decision-making and remembering things
- thoughts of harming oneself (suicide) and the baby (in severe cases)
It is necessary to get the best postpartum depression treatments to keep the mother and the baby safe. At times, a new mother does not tell anyone about the symptoms. The reason is that they feel ashamed or guilty for their depressive feelings when they should be happy.
Psychoanalysts believe women with PPD see themselves as bad mothers from society's perspective. So, they hide the PPD symptoms. That's why people around them should help them out. Also, if they notice any signs of depression, they must consult a doctor.
Diagnosis and Postpartum Depression Treatments
There is no specific diagnosis procedure for detecting postpartum depression. Most doctors or healthcare advisors notice the changes in the regular postpartum checkup visits of the new mother. Doctors look into the schedule and medical history of the patient after postpartum.
They also ask some questions in between the checkups to know if there is a possibility of postpartum depression in their patients. The doctor spots symptoms of postpartum depression through conversation.
When it comes to postpartum depression treatments, doctors study the patient's behavior and the gravity of the problem. There are mild antidepressants and postnatal depression medication that can help a new mother cope. Zulresso is a common medicine for treating PPD.
Some doctors also prescribe serotonin inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants that help in recovering from mild depressive states. Even though the medicines are clinically approved, it is wise to visit a doctor.
Postpartum Depression Natural Treatment: Therapy and Support
Postpartum depression begins with emotional and psychological changes. So, a way to cope with it is to talk about it. Many doctors believe that therapy is the best treatment for postpartum depression. When a new mother has someone to talk to, like a therapist or family member, it helps to reduce anxiety.
Also, if the new mother conveys her feelings and insecurities to a therapist or friend, it reduces the sadness. Along with it women should also find some time for self-care and rest properly to help their body recover from the rapid changes.
Keeping in mind a few things during pregnancy can prevent postpartum depression. For example, set realistic expectations about motherhood and the baby. Take a good amount of rest and keep in touch with the people that make you feel positive.
The partner and the parents of an expecting mother should give time and attention to the expecting woman so that she does not feel alone.
Also Read: Are Stress And Anxiety Taking Over Your Life? 4 Ways To Deal With Panic Attacks
PPD is a common mood disorder, and most women recover from it with postpartum depression treatments. It is not a new mother's fault, or it has nothing to do with being a bad parent. Men also experience a similar overwhelming state after the coming of their parents.
All this happens simply because there are a lot of things like emotional and psychological conditions that change. So, as the new parent, you need to take things slowly. It is always better to prevent depressive states during pregnancy.
And if you develop a condition of postpartum depression, do not hide the symptoms but look out for counseling and support for a healthy life.