Postpartum depression - Symptoms and Treatment
Welcoming a baby is always an exciting phase in a mom and a dad’s life. But it doesn’t seem very exciting and an easy process for some. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of depression.
New moms go through a lot of different emotions right before or after the child both some of them are just baby blues which can last up to 2 to 3 days or up to two weeks after childbirth most of them being, having no interest, feeling sad, crying, anxiety, fatigue, eating disorders or trouble sleeping.
But when the condition prolongs or when the symptoms are much more intense then postpartum depression is diagnosed.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
- Feeling disinterested with activities that you enjoyed once
- Unable to connect to the newborn emotionally
- Trouble breastfeeding the newborn
- Unable to handle daily activities
- Difficult to fall asleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired and lethargic most of the time
- Eating disorders - Not eating at all or eating too much
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Distancing from family members
- Having trouble in relationship with Your partner
If you notice any of the above symptoms it is advised to consult your doctor as soon as possible. Any new mother diagnosed with postpartum depression has to have ample support from their partner and family members. You must know that postpartum depression is not a character or behavior nor does it mean that you are a bad mother. Postpartum is a clinical condition that can affect a new mother right after childbirth or even as late as one year after the birth of the child.
Causes of postpartum depression:
Irregular levels of hormones during or after childbirth may cause postpartum depression in some women. A woman with a history of depression or a family history of depression runs a risk of getting diagnosed with postpartum depression. Financial instability, issues with partner, unwanted pregnancy are some of the other causes of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression in men:
Even new fathers can experience postnatal depression symptoms like new moms. around 1 in 10 men experience paternal postpartum depression after the birth of the child.
Increased responsibility, financial issues, and mental health issues like depression in mothers may lead to paternal depression. New fathers may experience difficulty in connecting with the newborn or have thoughts of harming the child. If you are going through similar symptoms, please ensure that the newborn is taken care of by a family member and contact your doctor immediately.
Can postpartum depression be prevented?
Postpartum depression is not a disease that could be avoided but early intervention and continuous monitoring will help doctors to treat PPD.
If you are a person with a risk of getting diagnosed with depression, then you may discuss the same with your doctor. your doctor will then conduct prescreening tests and monitor your mental health throughout the pregnancy period and after delivery.
Postpartum depression treatments:
Antidepression medications, psychotherapies are used in treating postpartum depression. When left untreated, PPD can be difficult to manage or become severe and brain stimulation therapies like ECT. While some treatments are done at the hospital, it can be difficult for a mother to be separated from her baby. Also, some medications interfere with lactations and might not be recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
Treating postpartum depression without medications:
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy is a safe treatment for postpartum depression. TMS is an FDA approved procedure that makes use of magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of your brain to manage and cure symptoms of postnatal depression. TMS or rTMS is an outpatient procedure and is done at the doctor's office. Hence this is very different from the usual psychotherapies that require you to be separated from your baby. TMS also does not affect lactation and is recommended for breastfeeding mothers as well. Patients who have undergone TMS sessions experienced no major or long-lasting side effects. This treatment is also covered by most insurance. We have more than two decades of experience in treating major depressive disorders. Our clinic is located in Norwood, Massachusetts. Contact us to book an appointment and let us help you.