Postpartum depression (PPD) is a range of emotional and physical changes that the majority of new mothers go through. Immediately after delivery, mothers experience a sharp drop in hormones, and this chemical change may cause depression. Additionally, social and psychological changes that occur after getting a baby may cause this condition. One in every 10 new mothers experiences PPD (Chojenta, Lucke, Forder, & Loxton, 2016). Postpartum depression is a common condition involving psychological, emotional, social, and physical changes that many new mothers experience immediately after giving birth, but it is easily treated using medications and therapy. Postpartum depression is a common condition involving psychological, emotional, social, and physical changes that many new mothers experience immediately after giving birth, but it is easily treated using medications and therapy.
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The common form of PPD is “baby blues,” which is mild and it affects almost every new mother. Normally, after delivery, new mothers are likely to experience sudden moods, which may lead to irritability, anxiety, loneliness, restlessness, and sadness. These changes may last for two weeks. PPD is prolonged and frequent baby blues’ symptoms with depressive characteristics, and it can occur several weeks or months after delivery. A new mother suffering from depressive symptoms should visit a health practitioner for treatment using medication and therapy. Postpartum psychosis is a severe form of PPD with full-blown symptoms of depression. New mothers suffering from this condition lose touch with reality together with having delusions, hallucinations, insomnia, agitation, and restlessness. Treatment is recommended using therapy and medications.
The common symptoms include mood changes, loss of appetite, and extreme fatigue, which are common signs after delivery. Other new mothers may experience loneliness, restlessness, agitation, and anxiety. In extreme cases where postpartum psychosis is involved, some individuals may experience symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, feelings of despair, and ineptitude, which are pointers to depression.
A new mother with a history of depression even before pregnancy is highly likely to suffer from PPD. Additionally, having many children may cause depression in new mothers, especially in cases where there is not enough financial support to take care of the kids (Chojenta et al., 2016). Young age at the time of pregnancy predisposes new mothers to PPD as they figure out how to deal with their new status. Finally, marital conflict and limited social or family support are risk factors because new mothers under such conditions lack the requisite backup that they need to deal with motherhood (Ghaedrahmati, Kazemi, Kheirabadi, Ebrahimi, & Bahrami, 2017).
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition. Psychotherapy is used to guide the patient on how to cope and overcome their depression and other related conditions. The commonly used drugs are antidepressants to alleviate depressive symptoms. In cases of psychosis, a patient may be admitted to a hospital, and antipsychotic drugs are used for treatment (Ghaedrahmati et al., 2017). Social support is also recommended as a coping mechanism.
Postpartum depression is a common condition affecting one in every ten new mothers, and it comes in different forms such as baby blues, PPD, and postpartum psychosis. Symptoms differ depending on the type of PPD being experienced. The main predisposing factors include a history of depression, age, marital conflict, and lack of social support. Treatment is done through psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Antipsychotic drugs are used in cases of postpartum psychosis.
Chojenta, C. L., Lucke, J. C., Forder, P. M., & Loxton, D. J. (2016). Maternal health factors as risks for postnatal depression: A prospective longitudinal study. PLoS ONE, 11(1), 1-9. Web.
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Ghaedrahmati, M., Kazemi, A., Kheirabadi, G., Ebrahimi, A., & Bahrami, M. (2017). Postpartum depression risk factors: A narrative review. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 6(60), 1-21. Web.