Postpartum Depression

in Baby

The "baby blues" are considered a normal part of adjusting to motherhood. It is caused by fluctuating hormonal changes after birth and characterized by crying, exhaustion, mood swings and anxiety. Up to 85% of new mothers experience the baby blues. However if your symptoms don't go away within two to three weeks or in extreme cases, if you are having suicidal thoughts or an inability to care for your newborn then you might be suffering from an illness known as postnatal or postpartum depression.

CAUSES

It is thought that the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy and delivery trigger Ppd. Following child birth women experience a big drop in oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Thyroid levels may also drop which leads to fatigue and depression. Changes in blood pressure, immunity function, and metabolism all play a part in a new mom's mental health. It has been argued that women who have a higher sensitivty to these imbalances develop Postpartum Depression.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

* Negative feelings toward your baby
* Lack of interest in your baby
* Lack of concern for your own welfare
* Worrying about hurting your baby
* Lack of energy/motivation
* Loss of pleasure
* Changes in appetite
* Sleeping more or less than usual
* Feeling worthless or guilty

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Women with a previous history of severe PMS or premenstral dysphoric disorder, or a past history of depression or Ppd in previous pregnancies or if the pregnancy was unplanned are at greater risk of developing Postpartum Depression.

Stressful events such as a difficult delivery or illness during pregnancy also increase the odds of the disorder.

TREATMENT

Individual or group therapy in the form of psychotherapy can be very beneficial and is preferred over medication for breastfeeding moms because of the risk of the drug transferring to the baby via breast milk. Oestrogen replacement therapy may help and is often used in conjunction with an anti depressant medication. In severe cases anti depressant medication may be viable but requires close monitoring by a physician and should be accompanied by therapy.

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Natasha McLean has 1 articles online

Author: Natasha McLean - Mental Health Site
Title: Postpartum Depression
http://www.mentalhealthsite.net/depression/postpartum-depression
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Postpartum Depression

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This article was published on 2010/03/29