image description

IS POST PARTUM DEPRESSION DIFFERENT FROM BABY BLUES?

As common as it is, surprisingly postpartum depression (PPD) is not talked about enough. If you have recently given birth you are bound to feel overwhelmed with emotion and might experience excessive fatigue, and frequent mood changes. It’s better to discuss these symptoms with your doctor so that you can receive appropriate intervention when needed. You can also find doctors online within minutes on your smartphone through online medicine services.

Affecting around 10-15% of adult mothers, PPD is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. In order for clinicians to diagnose mental disorders, PPD is a form of major depression that begins 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.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression occurs as a result of chemical, social, and psychological changes associated with having a baby. It refers to a range of physical and emotional changes that many new mothers experience. The good news is postpartum depression can be treated with medication and counseling. To get counseling or therapy at home you can find doctors online by downloading the online doctor app Mylivedoctors. Receive an online medical consultation and get expert medical advice without stepping into the doctor’s office.

One of the most profound chemical changes involves a rapid drop in hormones after delivery. When levels of estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones, drop almost immediately after delivery, it is thought to cause fluctuations in mood and behavior.

Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Some of the most common symptoms of PPD include:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • appetite changes
  • excessive fatigue
  • decreased libido
  • frequent mood changes

These symptoms may also be overlapped by other symptoms of major depression, which are not normal after childbirth like loss of pleasure; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness; thoughts of death or suicide or thoughts or hurting someone else.

There are three types of mood changes women can have after giving birth:

  • Baby blues
  • PPD
  • Psychosis

If you have recently given birth and are experiencing any of the above symptoms which are interfering with your ability to take care of the baby then talk to your doctor or find doctors online at Mylivedoctors.

So how does PPD differ from baby blues?

The “baby blues” is a term used to describe feelings of worry, unhappiness, and fatigue that many women experience after having a baby. Babies can be quite demanding and require a lot of time, so it’s normal for mothers to be worried about, or tired from, providing that care. Baby blues, which affects up to 80 percent of mothers, includes feelings that are somewhat mild, last a week or two, and go away on their own.

Who is at risk of getting Postpartum Depression?

A number of factors can increase the risk of getting postpartum depression, including:

  • a history of depression prior to becoming pregnant, or during pregnancy
  • young age- the younger you are, the higher the risk
  • ambivalence about the pregnancy
  • children -- the more you have, the more likely you are to be depressed in a subsequent pregnancy
  • having a history of depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • limited social support
  • living alone
  • marital conflict
  • Previous experience with depression or bipolar disorder at another time in her life
  • A family member who has been diagnosed with depression or other mental illness
  • A stressful life event during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, such as job loss, death of a loved one, domestic violence, or personal illness
  • Medical complications during childbirth, including premature delivery or having a baby with medical problems
  • Mixed feelings about the pregnancy, whether it was planned or unplanned
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse problems.

If you are pregnant or are planning to conceive and have any of the above risk factors you might want to discuss the possibility of developing PPD with your doctor. Try to prepare beforehand in terms of support and childcare after birth of the baby. For professional guidance book a tele-appointment with doctor today! Find doctors online with the MyLiveDoctors online doctor app where healthcare professionals are ready to serve 24 hours around the clock!

Postpartum depression can affect any woman regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or economic status.

Treatment of Postpartum Depression

The symptoms of PPD like feelings of sadness and anxiety can be so severe that it can interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself and her family. Because of the severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression usually requires treatment. The condition, which occurs in nearly 15 percent of births, may begin shortly before or any time after childbirth, but commonly begins between a week and a month after delivery.

The treatment of Postpartum depression is different for different women and depends upon the type and severity of a woman's symptoms. Treatment options include anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, and participation in a support group for emotional support and education. For severe cases, intravenous infusion of a new medication called brexanolone (Zulresso) may be prescribed by your doctor. Postpartum psychosis on the other hand may need to be treated with drugs used to treat psychosis. Hospital admission is also often necessary.

If you are breastfeeding, don't assume that you can't take medication for depression, anxiety, or even psychosis. Talk to your doctor. Under a doctor's supervision, many women take medication while breastfeeding. This is a decision to be made between you and your doctor.

When Should you see a doctor?

It is important to have awareness about PPD as untreated postpartum depression can be dangerous for new moms and their children. A new mom should seek professional help if:

  • symptoms persist beyond two weeks.
  • she is unable to function normally.
  • she can't cope with everyday situations.
  • she has thoughts of harming herself or her baby.
  • she is feeling extremely anxious, scared, and panicked most of the day.

Most of the time symptoms of depression and PPD are brushed under the carpet and not taken seriously by the new mom or family member commonly mistaken as fatigue or ‘hormones’. Listen to your body and go see a doctor. For more information on other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression please visit www.mylivedoctors.com.