We are led to believe that having a baby is the happiest time of a person’s life. However, according to the Office on Women’s Health (OAWH), one in nine new moms experiences postpartum depression. While postpartum depression is common, many people feel uncomfortable seeking help due to the social pressure placed on new mothers. This article will discuss postpartum depression, its risk factors, and how it can be fully treated to bring you back to a happy, healthy mindset.
Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Developing some feelings of sadness after giving birth is a common occurrence. Many people will have what is known as the “baby blues.” After giving birth, most new mothers endure postpartum baby blues, which frequently include mood changes, crying sessions, anxiety, and insomnia.
The first two to three days after delivery are when baby blues often start, and they can linger for up to two weeks. While baby blues are brief, postpartum depression’s symptoms and length are more severe. As the name suggests, postpartum depression often occurs in the first few weeks after childbirth. However, the symptoms of postpartum depression can begin even earlier, such as during pregnancy or later, sometimes up to a year after delivery.
Due to the severity of these symptoms, some moms can feel like they’re struggling to care for their newborn baby. While symptoms vary for each person, there is a set criterion for the emotions and behaviors most commonly seen in those diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
After delivery, several biological changes might result in feelings that are similar to depression. When a new baby arrives, many moms may experience overwhelming feelings. However, if any of the following depressive symptoms persist for more than two weeks, speak with your physician, nurse, or midwife right away:
- Depressed mood or intense mood swings
- Crying often
- Issues connecting with your baby
- Isolating yourself from family and friends
- Loss or increase in appetite
- Insomnia, or sleeping too much (hypersomnia)
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
- Severe irritability
- Trouble with thinking clearly or focusing
- Extreme anxiety and sometimes panic attacks
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
Postpartum depression shares similar symptoms with depression but includes a history of recent or upcoming childbirth. The most commonly shared symptoms between depression and postpartum depression include:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of interest
- Altered sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Altered eating
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
Although rare, those with postpartum depression may experience psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
Risk Factors and Possible Causes
While the causes surrounding postpartum depression are not entirely known, many experts believe the issue lies in the deregulation of hormones that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. The causes of postpartum depression have been linked to genetics, physiological, psychological, and social factors, according to various research studies.
Multiple indications and aspects can make an individual more at risk of developing postpartum depression. For example, those with a history of depression or anxiety are at a higher risk. Meanwhile, preexisting negative thoughts about the baby or a history of abuse can be additional risk factors for experiencing postpartum depression.
Those who experience complications or hospitalizations during pregnancy are also at risk. Some medical issues and operations related to postpartum depression include emergency cesarean section, meconium passage, umbilical cord prolapse, preterm or low birth infant, and low hemoglobin.
Loneliness and the absence of emotional support from either a spouse or family can also lead to postpartum depression. Women who suffer from domestic violence, be it physical or verbal, are at an increased risk of developing postpartum depression. Finally, smoking throughout the pregnancy can be detrimental to not only the baby but also the mother’s mental health.
Treating Postpartum Depression
Reaching out for help when struggling with postpartum depression can be challenging. You may feel ashamed of asking for help when others are expecting you to be the happiest you’ve ever been. While the stigma surrounding depression and postpartum depression may exist, it should never hinder you from seeking help.
Finding relief from these symptoms and establishing a better, more balanced state of mind requires awareness of the symptoms of postpartum depression and getting help at an accredited treatment facility. At Avalon Malibu, we provide comprehensive mental health care at the Grand House to assist people in overcoming depression, even postpartum depression.
We do this by utilizing tried-and-true methods and a client-centered strategy to inspire both hope and recovery from depression. Our all-encompassing approach to mental well-being uses tried-and-true techniques to help clients get a better understanding of the significance and meaning of their lives.
Individualized treatment programs are created for each client in order to break free from the grip of postpartum depression. This helps clients connect with their inner selves in order to make significant, long-lasting changes in mood, thinking, and behavior.
For people struggling with postpartum depression, we offer a range of therapy alternatives at Avalon Malibu. At times, making the decision to invest in your mental health might seem daunting. Fortunately, we’re here to help you while you work to lessen the symptoms of your postpartum depression and find joy in your life again. We’d be happy to go over the therapy alternatives we provide and see whether they would be a good fit for your circumstance. Whether this treatment is for you or a loved one, we can help you better understand what healing at Avalon Malibu looks like. Call (844) 857-5992 today to get in touch with us.