Postpartum Depression - How To Deal With It

This blog post is an informative guide for new mothers on how to deal with postpartum depression (PPD), a common mental health condition that affects many women after giving birth. It covers topics such as the symptoms of PPD, coping strategies, and seeking support from family, friends, and mental health professionals. The post also provides advice on when to seek professional help and how to care for yourself during this difficult time. By reading this post, new mothers will have a better understanding of PPD and learn strategies for dealing with it.

Are you a new mother experiencing emotional highs and lows, frequent crying, exhaustion, and shame? You may be suffering from postpartum depression, a mood disorder that affects up to 15% of new mothers. While it's natural to experience the "baby blues" after giving birth, postpartum depression can be severe and long-lasting. But don't worry, it's treatable. Read on to learn more about this medical condition and how to deal with it.

What Is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?

Postpartum depression is a medical disorder that affects up to one in seven new mothers after giving birth, causing symptoms such as hopelessness, moodswings, numbness, and sadness.

Depression vs. Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is different from other types of depression because:

  • It's caused by a combination of factors including hormone fluctuations, mood changes, and hereditary predisposition.

  • It occurs specifically after the birth of a child.

  • Women with a history of depression or mental illness are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression vs. "baby blues."

Here are some key differences between postpartum depression and the "baby blues":

  • The baby blues typically resolve within a few days or weeks, while postpartum depression can last up to a year after giving birth.

  • Postpartum depression is more severe than the baby blues, with symptoms that include anxiety, irritability, feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy, and difficulty bonding with the baby.

  • Postpartum depression is more likely to persist beyond the first few weeks after delivery, potentially causing both physical and mental health issues for the mother.

  • While the baby blues can often be relieved through rest, self-care, and support from loved ones, postpartum depression usually requires professional counseling or therapy to overcome.

Risk Factors and Causes of PPD

Postpartum depression has not been linked to any identifiable cause too far.

  • Unbalanced hormones may play a role.

  • Within 48 hours following delivery, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol levels drop rapidly, which can affect mood.

  • Family history of mental illness, including PPD, is a concern.

  • Marriage problems, job loss, or lack of social support from friends and family can increase the risk.

  • Postpartum psychosis from a prior pregnancy, prenatal mental illness, miscarriage or stillbirth, and abortion can also contribute to PPD.

  • Childbirth can bring significant changes to a woman's body and life, leading to depression.

  • Common postpartum mood swings include feeling stuck at home, stressed about new obligations, disrupted sleep habits, and feeling physically and sexually less appealing.

  • PPD is not associated with a mother's age or childbirth history.

  • Studies show that males whose spouses have postpartum depression are more prone to having the illness themselves.

What Signs And Symptoms Are Associated With PPD?

  • Postpartum depression can persist for weeks after childbirth and cause severe symptoms.

  • Symptoms include

  • Lack of interest in the baby

  • Overwhelming sadness

  • Lack of energy

  • Headaches

  • Sleep problems

  • Fear about the future

  • Feelings of unworthiness

  • Thoughts of harming oneself or the baby

  • Changes in relationship with food

  • Seeking help from a healthcare professional is essential if experiencing these symptoms.

  • It's important to understand that postpartum depression does not make you a bad parent, and it's not your fault.

Postpartum Depression Diagnosis

  • Postpartum depression is diagnosed based on symptoms that meet specific criteria.

  • It's important for people with depression symptoms or family history to get screened by a doctor.

  • Blood tests can be ordered to check for hormonal changes or other potential causes.

  • Psychological screening tests such as Beck Depression Inventory and Hamilton Rating Scale can also be used for diagnosis.

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Treatment for postpartum depression should be started as soon as possible by consulting a medical professional.

  • Medication, counseling, and support groups are all options for treating postpartum depression, with a combination of medication and counseling being the most effective.

  • Doctor prescribed - Antidepressants, such as SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants, are commonly used to reduce symptoms, but may have adverse effects.

  • Hormonal therapy, such as estrogen, may help manage postpartum depression by addressing hormonal imbalances.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to alleviate symptoms significantly.

  • Electroconvulsive therapy may be used in extreme cases where other treatments have failed.

  • Natural remedies, self-care, and support groups can also be beneficial.

What Is the Next Step in the Treatment of PPD?

  • Follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional. Be sure to comply with any medication or counseling recommendations your doctor makes.

  • Medication should be taken as it is prescribed. Do not stop taking your medicine until you have talked to your doctor.

Complications Related to Postpartum Depression

Mood swings are a normal part of depression. As a result, a person's mental health suffers for the rest of their life. Parents and children alike might be affected by it.


  • Postpartum depression can last for months or years if left untreated, leading to a more severe form of depression.

  • Mental exhaustion and altered stress can affect the mother's life and relationship with her environment.

  • Postpartum depression can lead to physical health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and chronic illnesses.

  • Depression is linked to two-thirds of all suicides, as per research.


  • Being around a depressive person puts the father at risk for PPD, and not all new fathers are prone to depression.


  • Untreated postpartum depression can cause emotional and behavioral issues in children, leading to ADHD, excessive crying, sleep disturbances, eating disorders, and slow language development.

Breastfeeding Child:

  • A mother's mental wellness is crucial for her child's care, and untreated PPD can lead to various unfavorable health outcomes, including delayed growth, sleep issues, mood and emotional issues, and difficulties with learning.

It's essential to seek treatment for PPD as soon as possible and take care of oneself to prevent long-term complications.

How long does PPD last?

  • PPD begins after birth and can last 4-6 weeks or up to a year

  • It may extend up to 3 years in some women

  • Symptoms become more evident over time

  • Risk factors include a history of mental illness, difficult pregnancy, and lack of family support

  • Being aware of your emotions and taking appropriate steps can help in healing.

How to Prevent Postpartum Depression

  • Share Your Emotions - Talking about your feelings and concerns can help prevent postpartum depression.

  • Join a New Moms' Group - Spending time with ladies who have similar experiences.

  • Remain calm - Even 15 minutes a day to relax and reflect can make a tremendous difference.

  • Exercise - Exercise has been demonstrated to prevent and treat postpartum depression. Everyone wins.

  • Set limits - You aren't super. Nobody expects you to be, so don't be. Set boundaries to avoid being overwhelmed.

If Postpartum Depression Isn't Treated?

Untreated Postpartum Depression can lead to:

  • Chronic depression can develop in the mother-child relationship and the entire family

  • Depression can lead to long-term health problems and even death

  • Mother's capacity to raise and develop her child is harmed

  • Symptoms should not be ignored, seek immediate help

  • Chronic depression can be avoided if symptoms are detected and treated early

  • Talk to family, friends, and a doctor for support


Postpartum depression can hinder bonding with your child and relationships. Seek professional help if emotions don't improve after 2-3 weeks. Be honest with your doctor and loved ones. Talk it out instead of facing it alone.

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