The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. But it also can end in something you would possibly not expect — depression.
Most new moms experience postpartum "baby blues" after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin within the primary two to 3 days after delivery, and should last for up to 2 weeks.
But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting sort of depression referred to as postpartum depression. Rarely, an extreme mood disorder called postpartum psychosis also may develop after childbirth.
Postpartum depression isn't a personality flaw or a weakness. Sometimes it's simply a complication of giving birth. If you've got postpartum depression, prompt treatment can assist you manage your symptoms and assist you bond together with your baby.
Signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth vary, and that they can range from mild to severe.
Baby blues symptoms
Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a couple of days to every week or two after your baby is born — may include:
Ø Mood swings
Ø Feeling overwhelmed
Ø Reduced concentration
Ø Appetite problems
Ø Trouble sleeping
There's no single explanation for postpartum depression, but physical and emotional issues may play a task.
Physical changes - After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid also may drop sharply — which may leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
Emotional issues - When you're sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you'll have trouble handling even minor problems. You may worry about your ability to worry for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle together with your sense of identity or feel that you've got lost control over your life. Any of those issues can contribute to postpartum depression.
Any new mom can experience postpartum depression and it can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. However, your risk increases if:
Ø You have a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times
Ø You have bipolar disorder
Ø You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
Ø You have family members who've had depression or other mood disorders
Ø Your baby has health problems or other special needs
Ø You have twins, triplets or other multiple births
Ø You have difficulty breast-feeding
Ø You're having problems in your relationship with your spouse or significant other
Ø You have a weak support system
Ø You have financial problems
Ø The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted
If you've got a history of depression — especially postpartum depression — tell your doctor if you're planning on becoming pregnant or as soon as you discover out you're pregnant.
During pregnancy, your doctor can monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of depression. He or she may have you ever complete a depression-screening questionnaire during your pregnancy and after delivery. Sometimes mild depression are often managed with support groups, counseling or other therapies. In other cases, antidepressants could also be recommended — even during pregnancy.
After your baby is born, your doctor may recommend an early postpartum checkup to screen for signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. The earlier it's detected, the earlier treatment can begin. If you've got a history of postpartum depression, your doctor may recommend antidepressant treatment or psychotherapy immediately after delivery.
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