What You Need To Know About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression: The Facts

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Postpartum depression is an extremely common affliction for new mothers. It is important to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatments for individuals with postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can lead to a variety of devastating things, so it is important to ensure that you understand all of the aspects of postpartum depression before it grows to an excessive, debilitating issue. This includes the symptoms, possible outcomes, and necessary steps to take to help with postpartum depression. Knowing the signs can help you to determine when you or a loved one is experiencing this illness, which can help you to take all of the necessary steps to obtain the most effective help possible. This can go a long way toward minimizing the amount of damage that can be caused by the depression that can accompany the birth of a child. Adding a baby to the family is a major life change. With any major life change, a grieving process is often undergone. A couple should go through every stage of the grieving process, but these stages should remain brief. An extended grieving stage may put you at risk for PPD.    

Postpartum Depression is Common

Postpartum depression, often known as PPD, is an incredibly common occurrence after a woman gives birth. There are many things that can contribute to the prevalence of PPD in women. Hormone fluctuations, increased stress, lack of social support, and more can all lead to PPD. Studies have shown that as many as 1 in 7 women suffer from PPD after giving birth. Additionally, as many as 80% of women experience brief spells of the “baby blues” after birth. Though the baby blues has many of the same symptoms, it has significant differences when compared to PPD. The “baby blues” tends to go away after a short time period, while PPD lasts much longer. It is important to remember that many, many women suffer from both PPD and the baby blues and it is nothing to be ashamed about.

“Depression” isn’t All-Encompassing

Calling PPD postpartum “depression” isn’t the ideal phrasing. PPD includes a much broader spectrum of emotions. In general, there are many more aspects to depression than many people realize and this is similarly true with PPD. Intense feelings of guilt, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and more are often experienced throughout PPD. This makes it rather difficult to truly empathize with individuals that are suffering from PPD if you have never experienced it before. Thorough research can go a long way toward helping you understand PPD. This research can also provide you with the knowledge that you need regarding the best steps to take to help handle PPD.

Postpartum Depression Persists

Not only does PPD include a broad array of symptoms, but it lasts for an extended period of time. PPD can last for weeks, months, or even years. Individuals that are predisposed to depression are more likely to develop PPD after giving birth, though any woman is able to develop PPD. In fact, some men have even been known to develop a similar depression alongside their partners. Arming everyone with the knowledge necessary to recognize and seek help regarding PPD can help to minimize the amount of damage that it can cause. The main difference between the “baby blues” and PPD is the length of time that the illness persists.

Symptoms of PPD

There is a wide array of symptoms and signs that are associated with PPD. Familiarizing yourself with these symptoms can help you to recognize PPD when you or your loved ones are experiencing it. A common sign of PPD is excessive restlessness or the inability to sleep. However, PPD can also have the opposite effect, resulting in lethargy, chronic fatigue, and an increased likelihood of oversleeping. Another sign of PPD is brain fog, which can make it difficult to think clearly or to effectively remember things. Changes in diet may also indicate PPD, which can include both eating much more or much less than usual. If you notice a fluctuation in the weight of your loved one, it is possible that they are suffering from PPD.

Overwhelming sadness, intense feelings of guilt, and a general lack of motivation are incredibly common characteristics of PPD. PPD also often includes relentless anxiety, irritability, and the fear of not being a good mother. Individuals who withdraw from their family and friends after giving birth could certainly be experiencing PPD. PPD isn’t just an emotional issue; there are many physical discomforts that are associated with PPD. Indigestion, muscle aches, and headaches are consistent with the other symptoms of PPD. Understanding these symptoms can go a long way toward recognizing and obtaining the necessary help when experiencing PPD.

What You Should Do

It is important to seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing postpartum depression. It can be extremely difficult to verbalize and admit how you are feeling to other people during this time. PPD can cause you to feel inadequate as a mother and can increase any insecurities you may have. Many women feel ashamed about experiencing PPD, because they feel like it is a sign that they are “weak” or a “bad mother.” Acknowledging the presence of PPD is a vital first step in obtaining the help that you need during this time. However, if you notice a loved one undergoing PPD, it can be a sensitive subject to broach. You will want to bring this up in a careful manner to minimize the possibility of pushing your loved one away. You may want to consider contacting a professional to determine the best way to help your loved one during this time. In addition, taking Omega 3s and a whole food B-complex vitamin can help the body to be more upbeat with all of the changes it is undergoing.

Postpartum depression is no joke. It is important to ensure that the appropriate help is obtained throughout this time. PPD is extremely common, but many women don’t receive the assistance that they need throughout this time. We are experienced and knowledgeable regarding every aspect of prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. Our services can help you to minimize the effects caused by PPD. It is important to recognize the signs of PPD, as well as to take all of the steps possible to obtain help when suffering from it. Contact us at My Family Birth Center to learn more about dealing with PPD or the benefits of our many services.

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