Postpartum depression and the symptoms to look for Postpartum depression and the symptoms to look for
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Learn about the causes of postpartum depression and what symptoms to look for

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Postpartum Depression and the Symptoms to Look For

The birth of a baby can generate all sorts of emotions from the new mom. Most mothers think that the birth of their child should be a time of happiness and over joy that their baby is born. But, this is not always the case. Sometimes, depression can come along with the birth of a baby.

Postpartum depression is a serious condition and should be treated as soon as possible. It is more than simply the baby blues and it needs to be looked after.

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So, what exactly causes the onset of depression after giving birth? Although there is no one certain thing that causes the depression, there are a couple of factors that may have a part in it.

Changes in the Body

After giving birth, a woman's chemistry changes dramatically. The levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone take a huge drop after giving birth. The hormones of the thyroid gland also drop, which can make a woman feel more tired and have less energy, which can be a big reason for depression. Also, there are changes in a woman's immune system, metabolism, and blood volume after giving birth. All of these changes which happen quickly after birth can lead to postpartum depression.

Lifestyle Factors

There are plenty of lifestyle factors that can lead to depression after giving birth. Things such as financial trouble, problems in a marriage, career stress, a demanding household, not enough help with the baby, or difficulty breastfeeding can all potentially lead to problems with depression for a new mom. Also, women who have suffered from depression in the past are more likely to suffer from it again after giving birth.

Emotional Factors

Everyone knows that a pregnant woman can be very emotional, but after giving birth is a huge emotional rollercoaster as well. Adding to the mix of emotional triggers is sleep deprivation and being overwhelmed. Other things such as being disappointed with your body or struggling with your own sense of identity may also play a part in fueling depression.

It is important that a woman who is suffering from depression gets help right away for it. The sooner she gets help, the sooner she can return back to her normal self and provide the care that her baby needs. Here are the symptoms that one needs to be on the lookout for:

  • insomnia
  • overwhelming lack of energy to do anything
  • lack of appetite
  • severe and frequent mood swings
  • lack of joy or excitement in life
  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • feelings of shame or guilt
  • inconsolable crying
  • difficulty in bonding with the baby
  • thoughts of harming herself or the baby

If you or anybody you know has these symptoms of postpartum depression, especially the thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, you need to seek medical attention right away. No one is going to judge you and just because you suffer from depression, it does not make you a bad or inadequate mother. It just needs to be taken care of so, you can properly take care of your family.

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