Hey folks! I hope you have got the idea of what postpartum depression is and how it affects your life after childbirth. Before plunging into treatment options and why one should seek it, it is important to identify the symptoms of this condition. So, here we go.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
When it comes to the symptoms of postpartum depression that occur during or before pregnancy are similar. You might be at the risk of suffering from PPD if you have five or more of the symptoms mentioned below. Also, if you have these symptoms throughout the day or for at least two to three consecutive weeks, better seek medical intervention.
- Crying all the time
- Sluggishness or sadness
- Feeling that life is not at all worth living
- Extreme hopelessness, emptiness, or sadness
- Trouble waking during the day or falling asleep at night
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Lack of enjoyment or loss of interest in daily activities and hobbies
- Unintentional weight gain or weight loss, eating too much, or loss of appetite
- Being angry or irritable
- Difficulty in making decisions or concentrating
Along with these, there are other possible signs of depression that a person might experience:
- Inability to care for a baby or to be uninterested in baby
- Avoiding family or friends
- Feeling exhausted to the extent that you do not want to get out of bed
- Excessive worrying about the baby
Causes of Depression after Childbirth
It is important to understand the causes that trigger postpartum depression in women. It results from a combination of genetic, hormonal, emotional, and environmental factors that, of course, are not in your control. In some cases, women help them be responsible for the condition. However, it does not occur because you didn’t do or did something.
Your chances of suffering from this condition increase manifolds if you have anxiety or depression during pregnancy or if you experience baby blues after your baby’s arrival. Other factors also contribute to this condition, including emotional adjustment to becoming a parent, physical exhaustion after delivery, and lack of sleep.
Wondering the difference between Depression and Postpartum Depression???
One main difference is the timing – Depression is termed PPD when it develops during the time after childbirth. Unlike depression, which is neither connected to pregnancy, postpartum depression is related to the unique hormonal changes in the body after delivery. According to research conducted, it has been found that the condition is more common in women who are sensitive to the shift in the progesterone and estrogen levels in the body after delivering a baby.
Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression
Treatment options for PPD are the same as for depression that occurs during or before pregnancy. Women who have mild symptoms are recommended to stay alert and keep watch on symptoms. If symptoms turn more severe, your doctor might start antidepressant medication, talk therapy, or both. Also known as counseling, talk therapy can do wonders to improve your condition. It can be a one-on-one or group session where you might meet other women going through the same experience. In couple or family therapy, the counselor works with you and your relatives or partner.
Intake of antidepressants helps balance the brain chemicals that regulate mood and behavioral habits. Discuss with your doctor the availability of different types of antidepressants. Some are prescribed in combination with effective results. You might start feeling better after taking medicine for two to three weeks. Having antidepressants can trigger side effects; however, most resolve within the shortest time. If you have side effects that interfere with your daily routine or your depression turns worse, consult the doctor without delay.
Is it safe to Rely on Antidepressants while Breastfeeding?
In most cases, it is considered safe to take antidepressants at the time of breastfeeding. However, remember that medicine does pass through breast milk, but its levels are too low. Of all options, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are counted among the safest option and are generally prescribed to nursing women suffering from PPD. Other medicines that are considered safe include most Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) and Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).
Given that studies conducted indicate that breastfed babies of women who take antidepressants may have slight difficulty sleeping or feeding or be more irritable, doctors opt for counseling therapy to treat PPD. Even though other babies of mothers with untreated depression can also experience the same problems, the number is slightly more in the case of those mothers who breastfeed babies and are on antidepressants.
Importance of Seeking Treatment
Women often ignore this condition and do not get depression treated. It can lead to more worrying results as feeling loneliness and confusion creep into your life. As PPD can be treated easily, you should opt for the treatment without any delay. You will get the support you require to keep yourself going and will not slip into the depression that is harder to treat.