About Postpartum Depression
It is a well-known fact that there is no single cause of postpartum depression. Although there are many studies on this particular topic, none of them managed to pinpoint a singular underlying cause. This led the scientific community to conclude that other factors, such as physical, emotional and lifestyle factors might play a role in the onset of this particular type of depression.
There will be physical changes.
After your child is born, your body goes through some changes. For example, it goes through a dramatic drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as other hormones. This can make you feel tired, slow and sad. Other changes your body goes through are changes in arterial blood pressure, immune system, and metabolism. All of these can influence the level of fatigue you experience and your mood.
On the other hand, there’s the emotional factor.
Even small problems seem to be huge or difficult to handle when you are not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is not uncommon for new parents. Anxiety about your newborn, worrying about giving care and comfort to your baby, the little time you have left for yourself can weigh you down and make you feel unattractive and adrift with your sense of identity. Feeling as if you have lost control are also common. And, as you might have guessed by now, all these factors can influence your postpartum depression.
The influence of your lifestyle.
There are a lot of factors that can lead to this kind of depression – from a very demanding baby to multiple children, difficulty with breastfeeding and so on. Postpartum depression as a phenomenon happens not only after the birth of the first child, but it can happen after the birth of any child. Check out the list below to see if you have an increased risk of developing postpartum depression:
- You have suffered from depression either before or during the pregnancy
- You have experienced postpartum depression before
- You have experienced stress during the past year (pregnancy complications, loss of job, illness and so on).
- You are experiencing issues in your spousal relationship or with someone else that is significant to you.
- Your support system is weak.
- You experience financial difficulty.
- You did not plan or wish the pregnancy.
If you leave this condition untreated, it may interfere with the bonding you need to make with your child, and thus cause family problems. According to studies, children of mothers with untreated postpartum depression are prone to develop behavioral issues such as eating disorders, sleeping difficulties, acting out and so on. Also, delays in the acquisition of language are common for such children.
If left untreated, the postpartum depression can exist for months or even longer, transforming into a chronic depressive disorder. Unfortunately, even if you do treat it, the odds of having a future episode of major depression is still existent.
Therefore, it is very important that if you show signs or symptoms of this condition, you must contact your local GP or doctor. You must not let shame or anxiety prevent you from reaching out. This specific type of depression is common and you are not responsible for its onset. Therefore, to spare further damage to your health and to your child’s, you need to get treatment.
During your visit to the doctor, you may very likely be referred to another specialist, namely a mental health care provider. This way you can receive a tailored treatment plan that you can be sure is right for you. Below you can find some information that should help you get ready for your appointment. This is what you can do to help your doctor help you:
- Make a list of all the symptoms you have had and for how long.
- Make a list of all the physical and mental health conditions you may suffer from.
- Write down all the medications you are currently on. You can include here vitamins, supplements, and OTC medication.
- Ask a significant other to join you for your appointment.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Now, until you go to the doctor, you might want to open up to someone you can trust. Talk to them about what you’ve been dealing with and tell them you need their help. Most likely they will accept to help you by offering to babysit for you or by joining you to the doctor’s. Regardless of how they help, make sure you get plenty of sleep and relaxation. With help, you can recover from postpartum depression. Watch a movie or ask your close friends for cake and coffee. In times like these, you must avoid isolation.
Source: Fix.com Blog