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My wife is diagnosed of Postpartum Depression

My wife gave birth last week to a bouncing baby girl. Unfortunately, she is now suffering from postpartum depression, nothing interests her anymore. We are…

My wife gave birth last week to a bouncing baby girl. Unfortunately, she is now suffering from postpartum depression, nothing interests her anymore. We are doing our best, together with the family doctor. Kindly enlighten the public about it including risk factors and remedy.

Abraham X.

Thanks, Abraham, for your question and wishing your wife speedy recovery. Postpartum Depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes. Symptoms may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Onset is typically between one week and one month following childbirth. Many new moms experience the “postpartum baby blues” after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after delivery and may last for up to two weeks. But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of baby blues which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born may include:

-Mood swings and anxiety

-Sadness and irritability

-Feeling overwhelmed and crying

-Reduced concentration and appetite problems and trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

1.                Depressed mood or severe mood swings.

2.                Excessive crying and Difficulty bonding with your baby.

3.                Withdrawing from family and friends and Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual.

4.                Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much.

5.                Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy.

6.                Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.

7.                Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, or inadequacy.

8.                Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions.

9.                Severe anxiety and panic attacks and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

What are the causes?

•                  Physical changes. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression.

•                  Emotional issues. When sleep is deprived, you may have trouble handling even minor problems. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn.

What are the risk factors?

•                  You have a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times

•                  You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy

•                  You have family members who have had depression or other mood stability problems

•                  You have experienced stressful events during the past year, such as pregnancy complications, illness, or job loss

•                  Your baby has health problems or other special needs

•                  You have difficulty breast-feeding

•                  You are having problems in your relationship with your spouse or significant other

•                  The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted

Examples of complications:

•                  Untreated postpartum depression can last for months or longer, sometimes becoming a chronic depressive disorder.

•                  Children of mothers who have untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems, such as sleeping and eating difficulties.

Postpartum depression is often treated with counselling and medication

1.                It may help you to talk about your concerns with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional. Through counselling, you can find better ways to cope with these new feelings, solve problems and set realistic goals. Sometimes family or relationship therapy also helps.

2.                Antidepressants drugs could help but need to be prescribed.

3.                Hormone therapy.

4.                Make healthy lifestyle choices which include physical activity and eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol.

5.                Reduce pressure and scale back too much work AND avoid isolation. Talk with your husband, family, and friends about how you are feeling and other expectant mothers about their experiences.


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