Hey folks! Hope you have got the idea of what exactly postpartum depression is and how it affects your life after childbirth. Before plunging to 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 occurs 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 awaking 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 being uninterested in baby
- Avoiding family or friends
- Feeling exhausted and tired to an 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 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 experienced baby blues after the arrival of your baby.
There are other factors too that contribute to this condition including emotional adjustment of 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 that neither is nor connected to pregnancy, postpartum depression is related to the unique hormonal changes that happen 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 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 and talk therapy, or both.
Also known as counselling, talk therapy, can do wonders to improve your condition. It can be a one-on-one session or group session where you might meet other women going through the same experience. In couple or family therapy, the counsellor works with you and your relatives or partner.
Intake of antidepressants helps in balancing the brain chemicals that regulate mood and behavioural habits. Discuss with your doctor about 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 your daily routine or if your depression turns worse, consult the doctor without delay.
Is it safe to Rely on Antidepressants while Breastfeeding?
Well, 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 in sleeping or feeding or be more irritable, doctors try to opt for counselling 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 case of those mothers who breastfeed babies and are on antidepressants.
Importance of Seeking Treatment
It is often that women ignore this condition and do not get depression treated. It can lead to more worrying results as feeling loneliness and confusion creeps in your life.
Well, 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.
Read more about Tips on Breastfeeding – How to Get Baby Latched Properly