Body Talks

Lady Jane Abella By Lady Jane Abella, 14th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Pregnancy

If you have postpartum blues after childbirth, you’re not alone-more than half of women have temporary mild symptoms of depression mixed with feelings of happiness after having a baby.

Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Postpartum blues. A certain amount of insomnia, irritability, tears, overwhelmed feelings, and mood swings are normal during the first days after childbirth. These “baby blues” usually peak around the fourth postpartum day and subside in less than 2 weeks, when hormonal changes have settled down.

Symptoms can follow postpartum blues. They can feel like more of the same or can feel worse than before. It can also happen months after childbirth or pregnancy loss. In some cases, symptoms peak after slowly building for 3 or 4 months. Possible PPD symptoms require evaluation by a doctor. seems to be triggered by the sudden hormone changes that happen after childbirth. These hormonal changes most commonly lead to postpartum depression when paired with risk factors such as previous depression (including bipolar disorder), poor support from your partner, friends, and family, or a high level of stress. The hormone changes and grief following miscarriage and stillbirth also trigger PPD in many women. It is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. According to the DSM IV, a manual used to diagnose mental disorders, PPD is a form of major depression that has its onset within four weeks after delivery. The diagnosis of postpartum depression is based not only on the length of time between delivery and onset, but also on the severity of the depression

If you have postpartum depression, you have had five or more depressive symptoms (including one of the first two listed below) for most of the past 2 weeks, including:

Depressed mood-tearfulness, hopelessness, and feeling empty inside, with or without severe anxiety.
Loss of pleasure in either all or almost all of your daily activities.
Appetite and weight change-usually a drop in appetite and weight but sometimes the opposite.
Sleep problems-usually trouble with sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping.
Noticeable change in how you walk and talk-usually restlessness, but sometimes sluggishness.
Extreme fatigue or loss of energy.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, with no reasonable cause.
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
Thoughts about death or suicide. Some women with PPD have fleeting, frightening thoughts of harming their babies. These thoughts tend to be fearful thoughts, rather than urges to harm.

Postpartum psychosis. This severe condition is most likely to affect women with bipolar disorder or a history of postpartum psychosis. Symptoms, which usually develop during the first 3 postpartum weeks (as soon as 1 to 2 days after childbirth), include

Feeling removed from your baby, other people, and your surroundings (depersonalization).
Disturbed sleep, even when your baby is sleeping.
Extremely confused and disorganized thinking, increasing your risk of harming yourself, your baby, or another person.
Drastically changing moods and bizarre behavior.
Extreme agitation or restlessness.
Unusual hallucinations, often involving sight, smell, hearing, or touch.
Delusional thinking that isn’t based in reality.

Postpartum psychosis is considered an emergency requiring immediate medical treatment. If you have any psychotic symptoms, seek emergency help immediately. Until you tell your doctor and get treatment, you are at high risk of suddenly harming yourself or your baby.

Basic prevention measures for every woman. To minimize the effects of postpartum hormonal changes and stress, keep your body and mind strong.
Ask for help from others, so you can get as much sleep, healthy food, exercise, and overall support as possible.
Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs or medicines unless recommended by your doctor.
Close monitoring after childbirth is important. If you are worried about developing PPD, have your first postnatal checkup 3 or 4 weeks after childbirth rather than the typical 6 weeks.
Prevention measures for high-risk women
If you have had depression or postpartum depression before, you and your doctor can plan ahead to reduce your higher risk of postpartum depression. Think about the following options if you have a history of depression. If you have no depressive symptoms late in a first pregnancy, watchful waiting is recommended. But if you have a history of severe depression, some experts recommend counseling and support before childbirth. You and your doctor may choose to start antidepressant medicine after the birth to prevent PPD, particularly if you have had PPD before.

Read more:


Depressions, Post-Pregnancy Care, Prevention

Meet the author

author avatar Lady Jane Abella
A person who loves to read and write.I love to express & share my thoughts from things that i have learned. Hoping to touch other peoples' heart, give them hope and show them that life is so beautiful

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