Postpartum Depression

It is a condition that affects a woman after delivery. It is also known as post natal depression. Postpartum depression may affect the woman anytime during the first two months after the delivery. This condition may last for a few months or a year. Main symptoms of this condition are:

  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Emptiness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Inability to take good care of the baby
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • No interest in social activities
  • Getting frustrated easily etc.

Factors that cause postpartum depression (PPD) are not clearly known. Some state that, it is due to lack of vitamins, whereas some suggest hormonal changes during pregnancy as a cause. The baby’s entry may change the lifestyle of the couple and this may also be a cause for PPD.

There are certain factors which may increase the risk for PPD:

  • Psychological or physiological trauma during delivery
  • Increased level of prolactin
  • Oxytocin depletion
  • Previous history of depression
  • Depression during pregnancy
  • Maternity blues etc.

PPD can be treated with various methods. The symptoms of PPD shown by the mother should be taken seriously and given proper care. Treatment options for PPD may include:

  • Medication
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Medical evaluation for physiological problems
  • Support groups
  • Home visits
  • Healthy diet
  • Healthy sleep pattern

Consulting a physician who can work very close with the patient can help in planning the most suitable method for treatment.