Postpartum depression

Every woman in the world wants to enjoy the most beautiful moment of being a mother in her life. Definitely, it is a challenging situation in every woman’s life as well. During this time period, especially after delivering the baby, women face several problems associated with their physical and mental health.

Depression which generally occurs within the pregnancy period or within a year after giving birth is generally known as perinatal depression. Although the exact percentage of the women suffering from depression during pregnancy isn’t known, but scientific studies have shown that depression indeed is one of the most potent complication during pregnancy periods. Depression are often left ignored and considered as a normal side effect of the hormonal changes, therefore further complicating the condition. Some of the symptoms of depression may overlap with other common symptoms of pregnancy, and cannot be identified as a particular symptom of depression therefore hindering the diagnosis and any eventual treatment procedures.

Postpartum Depression is one of the most common post-delivery disorders among the women. A recent survey has shown that, about fifty to eighty percent of the women face this problem after their delivery. After delivering baby, most of the women face mood swings, sleeplessness, tearfulness, loss of interest in the usual activities, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, poor concentration and many more. Some mothers face these problems for at most ten days after their delivery. This disorder is called “baby blues” for those mothers.

However, if these problems last long and stay for more than ten days right after the delivery then it is called “Postpartum Depression”. Postpartum Depression can start anytime within the first year after childbirth. Even though both of these orders are considered similar, there are some subtle differences in the symptoms. The symptoms for postpartum depression are more severe and need to be treated by the doctors. Till now, researchers have identified three types of postpartum depression. These are: baby blues; postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

There is no any definite cause for this disorder. The women who have family history of depression are more likely to suffer from this disorder. Hormonal changes are more likely to elicit the symptoms of postpartum depression. During pregnancy, the amount estrogen and progesterone (both female hormones) increases drastically. However, the hormone levels of most women usually return to normal within the first day after childbirth. Many researchers think that this sudden change in hormone levels, which drastically reduces the amount of female hormones in the woman’s system, is the main factor in developing this disorder.

Smaller hormonal change can also affect a woman’s mood before her period, and a woman’s thyroid hormones can also lower after she gives birth. Both of these events are normal, mood-altering events that are similar to what happens after a woman gives birth, and yet they do not cause ostpartum depression. Also, a recent study shows that, the symptoms of postpartum disorder are shown among the mothers who adopt children. This result, combined conflicting hormonal evidence, has brought up new arguments among the researchers which may lead them to further research.

Another group of researchers suggest that one probable cause may be the drop in insulin level that mothers experience during the period of postpartum period. The drop in insulin decreases the level of serotonin in the brain, which can affect mood disorders.

Dissatisfaction in marital life is another possible cause of this problem. A recent study shows that getting a daily massage can reduce the frequency of postpartum depression. Therefore, maintaining a good relation with partners can help to keep the women away from this disorder. It doesn’t matter if someone is becoming a mom for the first time, nor has previous experiences – a sound knowledge of countering depression after childbirth will make the pregnancy and post pregnancy periods as serene as it can get.


Last updated on Jun 10th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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