Postpartum depression is the type of depression which is seen in women after their delivery the baby. It may last from some days to even few weeks or may continue up to a year even. This depression is also seen in new fathers as well but the ratio of this type of depression is low in males.
The exact cause of this disease is not known. Due to hormonal changes throughout the body; some women feel mood swings during their pregnancy. This may increase after the delivery. So hormonal imbalance are seemed to play the major role in causing this disease. There are seen to be involved many such factors other than hormonal such as lack of vitamins. It may also be thought that due to changes in the lifestyle because of the newborn which causes massive changes in woman’s life, may culminate into postpartum depression. Any stress full event may also precipitate this depression. Lack of sleep, tiredness, housework stress, certain doubts about being a good mother, are also leading causes.
Mother chronically using alcohol or any drug of abuse or smoking, age less than 20 years, unplanned pregnancy, some mood disorders already, not good relationship with the partner and his lack of support along with family, and financial problems. This depression is also seen if the mother is single or having to stress full life, has a miscarriage before, not happy with the marriage and any illness of the brain, all may lead to this postpartum depression.
Signs and Symptoms
Mother is found to be sad and upset all the time, lose her appetite, gloomy thoughts are present all the time in her mind, remains fatigued and shows anxiety, sleep disorders, restlessness, irritation, and lack of interest in everything, she does not feel pleasure, shows poor energy and concentration and suicidal thoughts. She becomes frustrated easily, abruptly burst into anger, and there is decreased sex wish and drive as well. She is not found to care for herself properly as well as her baby, she shows no interest in her baby, she may not like her baby, and she can even lead to infanticide like crime.
There are no so such accurate tests for diagnosing this disease. The depression is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms of this postpartum depression. Blood tests should be done to check the hormonal levels.
This baby blues depression is usually finished itself and passed off within some days. In case if it remains, treatment should be done.
Use of medications such as antidepressants is helpful in this depression treatment and the drugs that can be used during this period are sertraline, fluoxetine, and nortryptyline etc. If the mother is lactating, use those drugs which cannot be passed via breast milk to the baby.
Other than medical use, psychological therapy is also important in them. Cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy are used usually for treatment of this depression.
The most essential thing is to take proper care of her diet. Use excess of dietary vitamins and good food containing all the essential nutrients.
Such a mother should be given full support by his partner as well as by the family. Proper rest should be taken.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.