Postpartum Depression

June 22, 2006 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

Postpartum Depression

By Andrew Bicknell

Postpartum depression or peripartum depression occurs after a woman gives birth. Within a few hours of giving birth the amount of the two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, return to their pre pregnancy levels. Many researchers feel that this drop in hormone levels, much like the smaller changes in hormone levels can affect a womans mood just before her menstrual cycle, is one of the causes of postpartum depression.

In some women the levels of thyroid hormones decrease as well. This decrease in these hormones can lead to symptoms of depression too. Some of these symptoms include a depressed mood, a loss of interest in daily things, problems sleeping and fatigue, irritability and weight gain.

Another factor that can lead to postpartum depression is genetics. This type of depression can be passed down from mother to daughter. There is also a correlation between postpartum depression and women who suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome.

Postpartum depression is also known as the baby blues and one in ten new mothers suffer from this to one degree or another. In addition to the drastic changes in hormone levels, the presence of a new baby in the house is also a major factor in postpartum depression. A new baby can be a major stress on a new mom and this can factor into becoming depressed. Some of these factors include:

Having less free time then before the baby was born and an inability to control the time needed to get things done. The baby demands all the mothers’ attention, leaving little time for herself.

Going through labor is extremely stressful and tiring for a new mom. A new mom does not have time to regain her strength post delivery because of the demands and needs of the new baby. Just getting a good nights sleep is nearly impossible with late night feedings and diaper changes.

Many new mothers question their own ability to be a good mom. They become overwhelmed with the care the new baby needs and start to worry that they aren’t providing the care their baby needs.

For new moms, postpartum depression can occur with a feeling that they are no longer who they used to be. Their old schedule and ways of doing things have been replaced by the needs of their new baby. They can also feel like they have to do it all and try to take care of the new baby while doing all the things they used to do. This can be very overwhelming because chances are the care of the new baby will not allow them to accomplish all that they think they should.

New moms can also become disconnected from their partner and family. They find that their time is limited and they just don’t have time to spend with the rest of their family.

For most women the “baby blues” will usually go away as their hormone levels get back to normal. But for some women the depression associated with a new baby does not go away and can steadily get worse. It is very important that women who experience any kind of depression after child birth talk to their doctor right away. Most cases of postpartum depression can be dealt with medication and some counseling.

Andrew Bicknell is a writer and owner of Visit his website for more information about postpartum depression and depression disorders.

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How Can You Identify Postpartum Depression?

June 14, 2006 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

How Can You Identify Postpartum Depression?

By Kitty Barker

Sometimes women suffer with depression immediately after child birth and this depression is known as postpartum depression. There are five kinds of postpartum depression, any of which can occur after child birth; however similar depression can also occur before or during pregnancy as well.

Patients of postpartum depression who have had other kinds of depression in their lives state that this depression feels very different from any other kind of depression that they have faced in their lives.

What are the different kinds of postpartum depression and How can you indentify Postpartum Depression?

There are five main kinds of postpartum depression or postpartum mood disorders as they are also known and women who have given childbirth may be suffering from any one of these. A brief description of these is given below so that you can see the current news about postpartum depression:

1. Baby Blues – This is one kind of depression which is not considered a disorder at all and as many as 80% of mothers experience it.

The symptoms of the same are given below:

Instability of your mood or mood swings as they are called commonly

Sadness and weepiness


A strong sense of dependency on those around you

Inability to concentrate

2. Depression and Anxiety – This is a postpartum depression which onsets gradually and which can happen any time during the first year of childbirth and is characterized by the following features:

Depression and anxiety which translates into worrying excessively

Finding it difficult to make decisions because you are overwhelmed with the circumstances all the time

Feelings of guilt and phobias


Having sleep problems which could mean not being able to sleep properly or on the other hand sleeping excessively

Physical pain or discomfort without any apparent cause

Lack of comfort near the baby

Decreased libido and losing interest in pleasure

Getting short tempered and irritable

3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – This is a postpartum disorder with which 3 – 5% mothers struggle and it can be recognized with the following symptoms:

Intrusive, repetitive thoughts and mental pictures

These thoughts are often violent and about hurting the baby

There is also at the same time a sense of disgust in these thoughts and horror about them

There would accompany such behavior which would suggest the actions to reduce these thoughts. For example you may try to hide all the pointed or sharp objects with which one can hurt the baby

Repetitive behavior like counting often or cleaning up again and again.

4. Panic Disorder – This postpartum disorder is found in about 10% of the pregrant women. The symptoms of the same are listed below:

Extreme anxiety in phases

Dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain and a sensation of being smothered or choked

Trembling, palpitations, numbness or tingling sensations

Restlessness, agitations, or irritability

During such attacks women feel that they are going crazy, losing control or even dying

Excessive worry or fears

There will be no triggers for these panics and they will happen suddenly.

5. Psychosis – This is the rarest and what may also be called the worse form of postpartum depression. In such a state the mother goes through tremendous strain to such an extent that this has got a suicide rate of 5% and infanticide rate of 4%. However Psychosis is quite rare and will only happen in one or two per thousand.

Following are the symptoms of psychosis:

Visual or sound hallucinations

Delusional thinking (for instance could be about the infant’s death or maybe even killing the baby)

Delirium or mania

Can I get help to fight postpartum depression?

This is a normal situation in the sense that many women suffer from it and it can be treated effectively through talk sessions with psychologists or medication. However, very often women who suffer from these also tend to be guilty of having such thoughts and they feel that it will be an embarrassment to tell other people that they are actually sad when they should be having the happiest time of their life. And so they end up hiding the problem which further aggravates it only.

Author: Kitty Barker – Kitty often writes for and with Postpartum Depression. You can also see more information on this subject at Postpartum Depression – should this link be inactive, you can paste this link to your browser –

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.