What is Postpartum Depression? Symptoms & Treatments



What is Postpartum Depression?

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum Depression falls under the general medical termΒ ‘Perinatal Mental Health’. This refers to the mental health of a woman during pregnancy and birth, as well as in the postpartum period after the baby is born.

Perinatal Mental Health covers mental illnesses such as:

  • Postpartum Anxiety
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum Depression is depression suffered by either the Mother or Father following childbirth.

In women it typically arises from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. PPD affects every 10-15 mothers out of 100. Postpartum Depression typically starts within the first 12 months after childbirth.

Postpartum Anxiety and Depression are common. 15-20% of new mothers will develop postnatal depression and or anxiety. The mother usually has worrying thoughts about the health of their child and feels they are not ‘good enough’ to be a mum. Also you can feel that your baby would be better off without you. You can be over-whelmed with concern for your baby.

Postpartum Psychosis is thankfully rare. 1-2 out of every 1000 births with result in Postpartum Psychosis – 1%. The numbers may be small but it is extremely serious. Usually it happens within a few days of giving birth. It is vital that the mother receives professional health as soon as possible. It can be treated very effectively but needs quick treatment.

Thankfully Perinatal Mental Illnesses are very treatable and only temporary. You can and will recover with proper professional help.

I had a wonderful GP who gave me a great piece of advice. When describing to me what is postpartum depression she said :

“Postpartum Depression is the same as ‘normal’ depression, the fact that it says ‘Postpartum’ is just to show the time in your life you suffer from it – after your baby. It’s no reflection on your ability as a mother”

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

What is Postpartum Depression - Symptoms & Treatments | Postpartum Depression Symptoms | Postpartum Depression Treatments | What Is Postnatal Depression | Mothers And Postpartum Depression

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What are the Symptoms & Treatments Of Postpartum Depression?

What Are the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?Β 

The main symptoms that are common to postpartum depression are:

  • feelings of unhappiness and low mood
  • finding it difficult to bond with your baby
  • poor appetite
  • loss of libido
  • insomnia
  • low self-esteem

Other symptoms common to this condition are :

  • feelings of guilt
  • anxiety
  • tiredness
  • loss of interest in normal activities
  • loss of enjoyment in normal activities

You may also have the following:

  • panic attacks
  • aches and pains
  • loss of concentration
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • feeling unable to cope
  • frightening thoughts about self harm and or suicide
  • frightening thoughts about harming the baby

If you feel any of the above you may be suffering from postpartum depression – it is important to seek help from your GP / Health Visitor. It’s normal for new mums to feel a bit anxious and tearful after birth. This ‘Baby Blues’ should only last for two weeks, if you’ve had these symptoms longer it may be postpartum depression.

What Are The Treatments For Postpartum Depression?

  • Talking Therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Self-Help

Antidepressants

Your GP may recommend a course of antidepressants if you are suffering from moderate to severe postpartum depression. For postpartum depression most have a course for six to 9 months.

You should take them for a long as your GP advises as if you stop too soon it may return. Most people struggle with a few symptoms for the first 2 weeks – such as nausea.

After your body has got used to them they will start to work and you’ll feel much better. They take two to four weeks to kick so give them a chance. Usually the first couple of weeks will suck but I promise you it’s gets so much better – just hang on in there.

Self-Help

Eating a healthy diet and exercise can really help recovery from postpartum depression. It’s also good to take a break from your childcare duties and have some you time.

Make time for yourself to rest and get a good nights sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping make an appointment with your GP.

During the day get out and about and get some fresh air and a brisk walk is also beneficial.

Talk with family and friends about your feelings and ways they can help and support you.

You can also get support and encouragement from other mums online who have been in a similar position to you – group support is very effective.

Where To Get Help For Postpartum Depression?

Your first points of contact should be your GP and Health Visitor.

They have seen Mums in the same position as you and have helped them through it. They will start you off on your recovery.

Your GP may recommend some medication, and will also be able to offer alternative methods of recovery.

Remember having postpartum depression does not mean you are bad mother or that you are unable to cope – you may feel this way but it doesn’t make it true.

Are There Any Charities For Postpartum Depression?

These charities can offer you advice and support on Postpartum Illness. They also give you more information on what is postpartum depression:

 

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21 thoughts on “What is Postpartum Depression? Symptoms & Treatments

  • January 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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    Some good resources here, I hope someone in need find them. Thanks for sharing on #fartglitter

    Reply
    • January 13, 2016 at 6:46 am
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      Thank you – hoping to help spread awareness & let other mums know they are not alone x

      Reply
  • January 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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    I love any posts that raise awareness. I have had PND for 11 years now, good times and bad but still, always there. It is so important that people are aware of it. Thanks for sharing. #fartglitter

    Reply
    • January 13, 2016 at 6:44 am
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      Hi I’ve had it about 2 1/2 years now. I feel like I’m finally coping and more like my normal self. I’m sure I’ll still have good and bad days to but the good ones are definitely winning at the moment. Always lovely to meet other suffers x

      Reply
  • January 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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    Handy resources. I think it’s so important for every new Mum to be aware of the symptoms so they are able to get help if it’s needed and not suffer alone. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

    Reply
    • February 6, 2016 at 10:57 am
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      Thank! There is lots of help out there – I was worried I’d be judged and people would think I was a bad mum but it was the opposite – everyone just wanted to help and support me to get better X

      Reply
  • January 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    This is such a helpful post. Anything that can help to inform people better and remove the stigma from PND. Great post, so pleased you’ve linked it up to #MarvMondays πŸ™‚ Emily

    Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    So important to keep sharing. I’ve been lucky and had a fantastic experience with my GP and health visitor and feel completely back to myself about 7 months after my first trip to the GP. I did wait until my daughter was nearly 1 though before I realised that something wasn’t right, and would urge anyone suspecting they might be suffering to ask for help as soon as possible. After starting to talk about PND with professionals you start to realise how common it is.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2016 at 10:48 am
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      Hi I didn’t get help until my LO was 1 1/2 years old. I really wish I’d gone sooner – to anyone out there if you’re not feeling great just go and have a quick chat with your GP. Xx

      Reply
  • Pingback: What Is Perinatal Mental Health? – mummyit'sok

  • January 29, 2016 at 4:09 am
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    I suffered from postnatal depression after having my 3rd child in three years. It was like my mind and body had just had enough. Excellent post. #fartglitter

    Reply
  • February 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm
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    I hate that people still think pnd is a sign of weakness, or means they are a bad mother. I hope someone who needs some help sees this and is motivated to get the help they need. #abitofeverything
    Debbie

    Reply
    • February 6, 2016 at 10:36 am
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      Thank you! I think this was one of my biggest fears about seeking help – I thought it would mean I was a bad mum. But it so doesn’t! X

      Reply
  • February 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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    It’s no reflection on your ability as a mother – what an important point! Thanks for highlighting that! Thanks for sharing this very informative post with #abitofeverything

    Reply
  • May 6, 2016 at 5:44 pm
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    Fantastic awareness raising post. I love that definition of it. Of course it doesn’t make you a bad mother, but so many people who suffer from it seem to think it does
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK πŸ™‚
    Debbie

    Reply
    • January 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm
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      Great cause! So happy to here you’re educating mums on PPD x

      Reply
  • January 11, 2017 at 9:32 pm
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    In retrospect, I think this is what made my struggle more difficult after my miscarriage. Not that a miscarriage isn’t difficult enough on it’s own, but PPD made it worse.

    Reply

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