Some Symptoms of Postpartum Depression You Must Know.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a temporary depression after delivery. Postpartum depression is a treatable medical disease, affecting about 13 percent of women after childbirth. This disease can develop from a few weeks to one year after giving birth, but this is most common in the first three months postpartum. Postpartum depression can be difficult to find, because moodiness and other symptoms are similar to baby blues - a brief situation that affects up to 80 percent of new mothers, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Women who have a history of depression may be at higher risk for PPD
Pregnant Woman - image by Pxhere

The condition of postpartum depression appears in two forms: a few weeks after giving birth is often referred to as "baby blues," and time is slow. This type of initial time occurs lightly. It starts after giving birth and usually heals within a few weeks without treatment. The slow form is what many people call true depression, this more severe form usually occurs a few weeks after giving birth. Overall, it affects about 10-16 percent of women.

Symptoms of mild PPD include sadness, anxiety, always crying in tears, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms usually appear within a few days after giving birth and disappear 10-12 days after giving birth. Usually the only treatment needed is certainty and help with domestic work and taking care of the baby. About 20 percent of women who have a baby blues will experience longer depression. It is important for doctors to know if you have a "blues" syndrome that lasts more than two weeks.

Postpartum Causes.

Nobody knows for sure why some women experience postpartum depression and others don't. A sharp decrease in estrogen and progesterone hormones after childbirth can lead to illness, and lack of sleep can contribute too. Some women feel in conflict with their new changes in identity and responsibility, and this can be a factor. If you have experienced depression in the past, you tend to experience postpartum depression.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression.

Symptoms of postpartum depression (PDD) can be divided into three categories:


  1. Baby blues: Very short duration, may not require medical treatment but home care
  2. Postpartum depression: Lasts longer, is more tiring, and requires medical care
  3. Postpartum psychosis: the most severe form, requires aggressive psychiatric treatment because hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis have arisen.
There are many possible symptoms of postpartum depression, including the following:


  1. Difficulty sleeping or even sleeping more than usual
  2. Appetite changes
  3. Extreme worries and worry about babies or lack of interest or feelings for the baby
  4. Feeling unable to love a baby or family
  5. Anger towards a baby, partner, or other family member
  6. Anxiety or panic attack
  7. Fear of harming your baby; this experience may be obsessive, and you might be afraid to be left alone at home with your baby
  8. Irritability - sensitive to stimuli
  9. Sadness or excessive crying
  10. Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  11. Feelings of doubt, guilt, helplessness, despair, or anxiety
  12. Extreme fatigue
  13. Loss of interest in hobbies or other ordinary activities
  14. Excessive and lowest mood changes
  15. Feel emotional numbness
  16. Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  17. Hard to breathe
  18. Frequent visits to a pediatrician with an inability to be convinced
  19. Repeated thoughts about death, which can include thinking about or even planning to commit suicide
  20. Obsessive-compulsive thoughts and disturbing behavior.
Contact your doctor immediately if you feel this:
You have symptoms or signs of depression that have lasted more than two weeks after childbirth or it actually starts two months after giving birth. Look for emergency help if you have one of the following symptoms:

  1. You have hallucinations and delusions about yourself or your baby; don't wait, this is an emergency
  2. You have a mind to hurt yourself or your baby; this is also an emergency and needs immediate assistance.
Important to note! Thoughts or attempts to commit suicide and thoughts or attempts to kill are very serious and real risks of postpartum depression. These symptoms are not mere myths or fantasies, and some cases have been medically well-publicized. Seek immediate medical care if you have suicidal thoughts or kill.

Prevent Postpartum Depression.

Because postpartum depression (PPD) may be related to hormonal fluctuations after childbirth, prevention is not possible. However, some approaches can help guard against these conditions.

 One of the best things to do is learn as much as possible about what is expected physically and psychologically during pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. This can help you develop realistic expectations for yourself and your baby. Take classes for pregnant women and socialize with other pregnant women and new mothers about their experiences.

Women who have a history of depression may be at higher risk for PPD, and women who experience depression before or during pregnancy may experience the same symptoms after giving birth.

After you give birth, get help from friends and family, but also limit the help so you have time to take care of your own children too. Don't worry too much about tasks that you don't really have to do. Take a nap to stay rest, eat healthy food and get enough exercise.

Treatment of Postpartum Depression.

Postpartum depression (PPD) sometimes disappears itself within three months after giving birth. But if this disturbs your life at any time, or if "blues" lasts more than two weeks, you should seek treatment. About 90 percent of women who experience postpartum depression can be treated with a combination of drugs and psychotherapy. Participation in support groups to discuss can also help. In cases of severe postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, hospitalization may be needed. Rarely, electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy can be used to treat depression that is very severe with hallucinations (false perceptions) or delusions (false beliefs).

The best way is to seek treatment as soon as possible. If it is late detected or not detected at all, the condition can worsen. Also, experts have found that the mental condition of children can be influenced by their mother's PPD. The child may be more susceptible to sleep disturbances, impaired cognitive development, insecurity, and often anger.

Recovering from postpartum depression, be aware that these symptoms may reappear before the menstrual period due to hormonal fluctuations. Postpartum depression can be treated at home in the following ways:

Drug for postpartum depression.

The first step in treatment is to deal with immediate problems such as sleep disturbances and changes in appetite. Antidepressants are usually quite effective for this. You and your doctor need to be careful about choosing antidepressants if you are breastfeeding. Some antidepressants are secreted in small amounts in breast milk (ASI). 

Other drugs, such as lithium, which are more controversial for breastfeeding mothers raise concerns that they can cause infant poisoning, although there is debate over lithium in causing risk. Discuss with your doctor to determine the benefits of antidepressant therapy. If the patient is required to take antidepressant medication, the doctor may recommend taking the drug for six months to a year to avoid recurrence, then reduce the dose slowly or continue again depending on the symptoms and history.

If you have had a previous postpartum depression episode, your doctor may recommend that you take preventive medication shortly after the baby is born or during pregnancy. Most antidepressants do not pose a major risk for fetal development, even though all drugs have potential risks. Some antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac, are rarely associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension from heart block defects in newborns when consumed during the last trimester of pregnancy, while tricyclic antidepressants can cause limb deformity when consumed early in pregnancy.

Many women who have given birth do not want to get pregnant soon. However, if you are being treated for postpartum depression, you can choose a contraceptive method other than birth control pills, which sometimes worsen symptoms of depression. Talk to your doctor to decide the best contraceptive method for you.

Psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy is generally prescribed alone or combined with antidepressants to treat PPD. Doctors can refer you to a qualified mental health professional who specializes in treating postpartum depression. A therapist can provide emotional support and help understand feelings and develop realistic goals, which are important for coping with postpartum depression.

Get support.

Recovering from postpartum depression, try to take time for yourself. Get out of the house every day, even if it's just for walking around the house. Get family and friends support for emotional and household help. It is not recommended to try doing everything yourself. Consider joining a group of mothers or if it's not there, start creating a gathering of mothers in the area where you live.

Sports.

Exercise can be a way to restore Postpartum Depression. This will help increase your enthusiasm. After you recover physically from childbirth, try to exercise every day. One study has shown that strenuous exercise after recovering from childbirth is associated with a feeling of increased well-being. Your doctor can help you plan the right exercise program for you.

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