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Postpartum Depression Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect both sexes after childbirth.

It comes in two forms:

  • early onset, commonly referred to as the “baby blues,”

Commonly referred as the “baby blues”, early onset is mild and affects up to 80% of women after they deliver.

  • Late onset.

This more severe form is usually recognized several weeks after delivery. Overall, it affects about 10%-16% of women.

Causes Of Postpartum Depression:

The cause of postpartum depression is not yet well understood.

However, a series of factors may play a role including:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Emotional issues
  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Struggle with one’s sense of identity
  3. Anxiety

Probability of developing postpartum depression increases if the individual:

  • Has a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times
  • Has bipolar disorder
  • Has had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
  • Has family members who’ve had depression or other mood stability problems
  • Had experienced stressful events during the past year, such as pregnancy complications, illness or job loss
  • The baby has health problems or other special needs
  • has have difficulty breast-feeding
  • Has have a weak support system
  • Has financial problems
  • The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted
  • Smokes
  • Has Elevated prolactin levels
  • Has Oxytocin depletion

Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression:

Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Sleep and eating disturbances
  • Inability to be comforted
  • Exhaustion
  • Emptiness
  • Inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low or no energy
  • Becoming easily frustrated
  • Feeling inadequate in taking care of the baby
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Occasional or frequent anxiety

Diagnosis Of Postpartum Depression:

In order to diagnose postpartum depression, the doctor may:

  • Ask the individual to complete a depression-screening questionnaire
  • Order blood tests to determine whether an underactive thyroid is contributing to the signs and symptoms
  • Order other tests, if warranted, to rule out other causes for the symptoms

Treatment Of Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum depression can be treated via:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Anti depressants

By : Natural Health News

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