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Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum Depression is a type of depression that a mother experiences immediately after childbirth. It is more serious and lasts longer than 'baby blues'.

Postpartum depression occurs in approximately 10 percent of childbearing women.

Postpartum depression often requires counseling and treatment. Postpartum depression can occur after any birth, not just the first.

Does every mother experience Postpartum Depression?

No. Some women will experience postpartum depression and others will not.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

The most common symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • strong feelings of sadness
  • anxiety
  • despair
  • trouble coping with their daily tasks
  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • trouble sleeping
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Severe mood swings

Why does Postpartum Depression occur?

It is unclear exactly why postpartum depression occurs. There are many factors that will determine whether a mother develops postpartum depression.

The most common factors:

  • Decreases in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
  • Fatigue after childbirth
  • Feelings of doubt about the pregnancy
  • Lack of support from others.

What is the difference between Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression?

The biggest difference is that Baby Blues goes away within a couple days of the childbirth.

Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can be treated. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the condition. One of the most common treatments is attending a support group to talk with other women who are going through the same thing.

Without treatment, postpartum depression may become worse or may last longer.


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