Types of Postpartum Depression
After the birth of a baby, many women experience certain postpartum disorders affecting their mental and physical health. Although mood fluctuations are common after any pregnancy, they can potentially turn into something called postpartum depression if they persist for more than a few weeks. Women suffering from postpartum depression often experience extreme emotional lows and highs after the delivery of their baby.
Types of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is associated with behavioral, emotional, and physical changes that occur in a woman after giving birth to a baby. It is quite common among 50 to 75% of new mothers. If left untreated, one in every 1000 suffering women may develop an even more serious condition called postpartum psychosis. Different women suffer from different types of Postpartum depression problems. Each problem has its own contributing factors. Types of postpartum depression can be listed as follows:
Commonly known as ‘baby blues’, this is one of the most common conditions affecting 50 to 75 % of new mothers. This condition's common symptoms include prolonged and frequent bouts of crying for no reason, accompanied by anxiety and sadness. Women suffering ambivalence or marital conflict during their pregnancy are more at risk than others. It often begins within the first week of giving birth. Though it is an unpleasant experience, it mostly subsides within two to three weeks. The only thing needed for the same is some reassurance, family support, and help with chores and the baby. No medical assistance is required for the treatment of this type. One of the most important parts of postpartum blues management is a little self-care. It means cutting yourself some slack and refraining from isolating yourself from others. You can even join a group of other new mothers to share your concerns and talk through them.
This is apparently a more serious condition than the postpartum blues affecting 1 in every 10 new mothers. The risk increases in women having a family or personal history of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. Women suffering from depression during pregnancy are also at an increased risk of postpartum depression. The condition is accompanied by alternating lows and highs followed by guilt, irritability, fatigue, and crying. You may feel as if you are incapable of taking care of your baby. The symptoms may range from mild to highly severe and may appear within days of giving birth or even a year later. There are two main ways through which this condition is treated: therapy and medication. Though either one can be used in isolation, they are more effective when used in combination. Though it may take some time for the doctor to find out what works best, it is best to keep open communication with them to ensure the best possible results.
This is one of the most severe forms of postpartum depression requiring immediate medical attention. Though it is relatively rare, it still affects 1 in every 1000 women. The symptoms are quite severe, appearing quickly after the delivery and lasting for a few weeks to months. Common symptoms associated with it are confusion, severe agitation, hopelessness, insomnia, shame, hallucinations, rapid speech, hyperactivity, delusions, or even mania. This condition requires doctors' immediate attention as the mother is at an increased risk of harming the baby or suicidal attempts. Treatments for the condition include the following:
- Medication: Different antidepressants have different uses and side effects. They help by altering the chemicals affecting the mood but do not work right away. However, some antidepressants are not safe to be taken while breastfeeding. So, it is best to communicate to the doctor regarding the same.
- Therapy: Therapy, in conjunction with medication, helps make sense to the new mothers regarding how to navigate their destructive thoughts.
- Self-care: Though this may sound simple, it is the most difficult part of managing postpartum depression. Do remember to steer clear of alcohol, which is a depressant. Allow your body to heal by eating a well-balanced diet, getting ample sleep, and exercising a little every day. Do remember, you cannot shoulder all the responsibility. Learn to share them with others. Maintain a diet low in processed foods and high in nutrients. If the same is not available, make sure to ask your doctor for the right dietary supplements for the same.
According to a study, only about 15 percent of women suffering from postpartum depression actually seek professional help. However, this figure excludes women who miscarried or had stillborn babies. This means the incidence of postpartum depression is higher than we can even think of. Do remember, postpartum depression can be treated easily with some family support and medical help. If you or someone else you know is suffering from this condition, be sure to contact your healthcare provider today for immediate attention.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Avery K.
When she isn’t looking after the many needs of her 2 kids, Avery enjoys taking walks in the park, enjoying nature, and getting her daily fix of caffeine.