Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Giving birth can be an experience that initiates numerous emotions from overjoyed to anxiety. But it can also bring a feeling no new mother wants to have, and that is depression. One source of depression is postpartum depression, which is a serious condition that occurs during the first year of a woman giving birth. Postpartum depression affects both mother and child, which can cause the mother to be unable to take care of or bond with her baby.

Baby Blues

The “baby blues” is a milder form of postpartum depression and occurs in half of women who recently given birth. Women who encounter the blues may cry more than usual and have trouble falling asleep. Symptoms also include feeling sad, irritable and always on edge with everyone around them. Baby blues is not considered an illness and should not affect a woman’s ability to care for her child.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a depression that occurs right after a woman gives birth. This condition usually begins within a few months of delivery. Symptoms include being in a depressed state and having numerous crying spells, loss of thought, inability to enjoy activities that were once enjoyable, trouble sleeping, fatigue, little or no appetite, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby and feelings of discouragement or failure as a parent. Postpartum depression does affect a woman’s ability to care for her child as well as the ability to care for her well being.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is the most serious form of depression that can occur as soon as the first month of delivery. This condition causes women to have delusions or hallucinations of certain events. Symptoms also include trouble sleeping, nervousness and mood swings. Women who suffered from this condition are more likely to harm their children than are women with postpartum depression. If untreated, a woman can relapse back into a psychotic depression after the postpartum period ends.

Hormonal Imbalance

There are no specific causes to why women experience postpartum depression, but there are several factors that may contribute to the disease. Hormonal imbalance is one aspect to postpartum depression, in which levels of estrogen, progesterone and cortisol significantly decrease within three days after delivery. Women who suffer from postpartum depression are not used to the hormonal changes and do not know how to react to the situations that are unfolding around them.

Physical and Emotional Changes

After childbirth, there are a number of changes a woman has to go through that can lead to depression. Difficulty losing weight, feeling tired all the time, soreness and pain throughout the body and hormone changes are the common physical issues after delivery, while losing a sense of control in one’s life, feeling overwhelmed and stressed out over routine changes and feeling less attractive are common emotional changes after delivery. These attributes can cause women to slowly change their perspective of being a mother and can begin the cycle of depression.

Giving birth can be an experience that initiates numerous emotions from overjoyed to anxiety. But it can also bring a feeling no new mother wants to have