Postpartum depression occurs after the baby is born. From immense excitement and joy to anxiety and fear, baby birth can affect you in various ways. Postpartum depression is different from baby blues.
In most cases, mothers experience postpartum “baby blues” after the birth of the child. It causes mood swings, anxiety, crying spells, and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues begin within two to three days after childbirth and may last up to some weeks.
Some women experience more intense symptoms than baby blues, which is known as postpartum depression. It can also turn into postpartum psychosis that is an extreme mood disorder. If you have any gynecological disorder, visit the gynecologist.
Depression after giving birth to a child is not your fault. Therefore you should not feel bad about it. Instead, it is a complication of giving birth. You must get treatment for postpartum depression soon. Otherwise, it can lead to various complications. Prompt treatment can help you make a better bond with your baby.
What are the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?
The signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth may vary in severity, ranging from mild to severe.
The symptoms of baby blues are:
- Mood swings
- Reduced concentration
- Appetite problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
The symptoms of postpartum depression are:
- Severe mood swings
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty in making a bond with your baby
- Withdrawl from friends and family
- Change in eating habits, eating too much or too little
- Change in sleeping habit, either too much or too little
- Loss of energy
- Body aches
- Overwhelming fatigue
- A feeling of inadequacy, guilt, worthlessness, or shame
- Depression about gaining weight
- Decreased ability to think clearly
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Severe panic and anxiety
- Thoughts of harming your baby or yourself
- Repeated thoughts of suicide or death
Postpartum depression should be treated promptly. Otherwise, it may last for many months or longer.
What are the Causes of Postpartum Depression?
There is no exact single cause for postpartum depression. However, emotional and physical issues may play a role.
Giving birth to the child is an emotional process. You bring a whole human being into this world. With a newborn, you may not be able to sleep properly at night that can lead to depression. Not getting enough sleep hinders all your day-to-day activities.
You may also feel more stressed due to added burden because of a newborn. All these factors can be emotionally overwhelming. To cope with the burden and stresses after baby birth, you can seek external help. If you are feeling too depressed, you must seek professional help for it.
After giving birth to the child, a sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone hormones occur that can contribute to postpartum depression. Thyroid hormones may also drop dramatically, causing you to feel depressed, tired, and sluggish.
What Are The Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression?
Factors that can increase the risk of postpartum depression are:
- Having a history of depression, either with or without pregnancy
- Having a bipolar disorder
- Having a history of postpartum depression in the last pregnancy
- Having a family history of depression or mood disorders
- Going through stressful situations in the past
- Your baby needs special attention and care due to certain health conditions.
- Giving birth to twins, triplets, or more children
- You are facing difficulty in breastfeeding a child
- Having a relationship problem with your spouse
- You have a weak support system
- Having financial problems
- The baby was conceived through an unplanned pregnancy or is an unwanted child.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that needs proper treatment. You should not take its symptoms lightly. If you have anyone in the family or friends having symptoms of postpartum depression, take them to the healthcare provider. For any gynecological problems, visit the best gynecologist in Karachi.