Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression - type of clinical depression that affects women less often than men, usually after childbirth. According to studies, the prevalence of postpartum depression in women ranges from 5% to 25% among men, especially young fathers, the frequency of postpartum depression varies from 1% to 25, 5%.  Changes in the hormonal background - the cause of postpartum depression

Causes of postpartum depression and the mechanisms of its detection has not been fully elucidated. According to a study conducted in the US found that postpartum depression in women can be predicted with 85% probability of a chemical change in the DNA of 2 genes with blood tests during pregnancy.

Sometimes postpartum depression confused with postpartum psychosis whose consequences are much more serious. It is much rarer and is accompanied by disturbances of thinking, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavior.

Postpartum depression may lead to incompatibility of mother and child, as a woman with such a diagnosis often pay more attention to the negative developments related to child care.

Causes of postpartum depression

The etiology of postpartum depression is not fully understood. Some studies indicate that the causes of postpartum depression are lack of vitamins in the body. Other studies show that the more probable causes of postpartum depression are significant changes in the hormonal background during pregnancy. However, it remains unclear why only 10-15% of women suffer from postpartum depression, because changes in hormonal background occur absolutely all pregnant women.

How long does postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is mild (soft short bouts of depression) begins to develop in the first four or five weeks after childbirth and lasts up to 6 months. In 10-20% of cases of postpartum (perinatal) severe depression (with bouts of psychosis) is a consequence of depression are mild and can last up to a year or more. In general, how much postpartum depression lasts, it depends on the person, as the main feature of the disease is a reluctance to seek help.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Anxiety, anger or irritability;
  • Sorrow and sadness;
  • The feeling of depression and guilt;
  • Fear of harm to the child or themselves;
  • Excessive anxiety or lack of interest to the child;
  • Lack of energy;
  • Hopelessness;
  • Social withdrawal;
  • Headaches, chest pain, heart palpitations, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, rapid shallow breathing;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Problems with focus and memory;
  • low self-esteem;
  • The impossibility of making simple decisions;
  • Decreased libido;
  • Lack of interest in what interested earlier.

Risk factors for postpartum depression

Although the causes of postpartum depression is not fully understood, presumably there are a number of factors that increase the susceptibility to its appearance, these include:

  • Physiological injuries caused during childbirth;
  • Elevated levels of prolactin;
  • Depletion of oxytocin;
  • Replacement breastfeeding to artificial feeding;
  • Tobacco smoking;
  • low self-esteem;
  • Prenatal depression during pregnancy;
  • Low social support;
  • Lifestyle, accompanied by constant stress;
  • Negative conjugal relationship;
  • Lonely marital status;
  • Low socio-economic status;
  • Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

These factors are known to correlate with postpartum depression. By correlation in this case means that the high level of prenatal depression associated with high levels of postpartum depression and the low level prenatal depression associated with low levels of postpartum depression.  Help and support loved ones - an important point in the treatment of postpartum depression

Treatment for postpartum depression

Numerous scientific studies and research papers support the idea that postpartum depression is treatable using a variety of methods. If the causes of postpartum depression are associated with social factors (lack of money, lack of support), treatment should be aimed at mitigating and building relationships with your partner, to attract additional support in child care by relatives, cognitive therapy, and others.

Other treatment options for postpartum depression include:

  • Medical examination to rule out physiological problems;
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (a form of psychotherapy);
  • Receiving special medication;
  • Visit aid groups;
  • Healthy eating;
  • healthy sleep.

An experienced doctor will develop a treatment plan for postpartum depression for each individual case. This plan may include any combination of the above treatment options, as well as some work with a partner.