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5 important facts about postpartum depression

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  • Approximately 1 in 7 women may develop postpartum depression. 
  • The condition can affect both mother and child. 
  • 5 facts to help you understand postpartum depression.

What are the most common symptoms of postpartum depression? This condition, which affects as many as one in seven pregnant women, produces physical and psychological symptoms that affect mothers who have just given birth in different ways, even those who have no prior history of depression.

It is important to understand what postpartum depression is, as well as its symptoms, treatment and possible consequences. Without proper treatment, PPD could result in serious injury to the mother, child or both. Here are five facts to help you understand postpartum depression.

5. What is postpartum depression?

postpartum depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s common for mothers who have just given birth to experience a host of issues that can be overwhelming such as sudden mood swings, sadness, anxiety and difficulty falling asleep. For some mothers these issues can become more acute after giving birth.

Postpartum depression can affect anyone, including surrogate mothers and women who put their babies up for adoption. It produces physical and hormonal changes that can affect every aspect of their lives.

4. How long does PPD last?

postpartum depression

It is common for new mothers to go through an adjustment period after childbirth that can last for several weeks. In some cases these symptoms are more severe and have a negative affect on daily life.

Some studies indicate that this condition generally develops during the three months after delivery. If you do receive professional help in dealing with PPD, it can last much longer and have worse consequences.

3. What are the most common symptoms of postpartum depression?

anxiety symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum depression include a feeling of deep sadness, almost always accompanied by prolonged periods of crying, sudden mood swings and a tendency to avoid interacting with your baby.

Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, changes in sleep patterns (such as excessive sleep or difficulty falling asleep), episodes of anxiety and panic attacks, excessive worry about the baby even when the baby is flourishing, and feelings of guilt.

2. PPD is caused by hormone imbalances

financial problems

One of the causes of postpartum depression is hormonal imbalance that occur before and after childbirth. In many cases, there is no prior history of depression.

It can also be associated with the financial pressures of having a new baby and it can be triggered if mother or baby is diagnosed with a physical problem that adds to the stress of being a new mom.

1. Talk to your doctor

medical care in pregnancy

It is important to know the symptoms of postpartum depression and consult with your doctor if you believe you are suffering from PPD.

In the most severe cases, postpartum depression causes suicidal thoughts or intrusive thoughts associated with hurting the baby. Requesting and accepting help in a timely manner is key to maintaining your own health and ensuring you can give your baby the best care possible.

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