Many women do not fully understand what postpartum depression really is, especially teenage mothers. Postpartum depression involves the main symptoms of other depression types and may require family support, consultation of specialists or use of medications.
Scientists are not sure yet why some women are prone to postpartum depression and the others not. Probably, the reason of that is an individual brain biochemistry. Often, a postpartum depression is observed in women, who have already suffered from depression before.
Postpartum depression occurs in approximately 10-15% of women and usually begins during the first or second week. After labor, depressive episodes may be asymptomatic and do not always mean you suffer from a disease.
There are 3 common types of postpartum depression:
- Baby blues
- Postpartum psychosis
- Postpartum depression
The baby blues is a common state for teenage mothers. This type of postpartum depression is a normal state and usually occurs within 2-5 days after giving birth to a baby. The symptoms of such postpartum depression are feeling of insecurity, tearful state, irritation, fatigue and feeling of loneliness. Usually, the baby blues disappears with the help of family and relatives.
The postpartum psychosis is a severe postpartum depression, which occurs in mothers very rarely. This type of postpartum depression is considered a disease, when a woman may lose the connection to reality. At the beginning, the postpartum psychosis involves quite usual depression symptoms. But when this disease is progressing, hospitalization may be required.
The postpartum depression stands between the baby blues and the postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may manifest as increasing baby blues, or may occur with time. The strongest symptoms of postpartum depression often occur, when a baby is approximately six months.
Causes of the postpartum depression
Postpartum depression can be caused by many factors that may or may not depend on women. Young mothers often feel that their actual experience differs from what they have expected. Some women have reported that they felt a disappointment and postpartum depression after difficult labor or after giving birth to premature or sick baby.
It is believed that biological factors are the main cause of postpartum depression. In hypersensitivity to changes in hormone levels, some psychological problems may occur. In order to normalize the hormone levels, it is recommended to use some medications. Before you buy one of the drugs to cure the postpartum depression, please consult a doctor.
The lifestyle change accompanies all mothers. After giving birth, a woman realizes that she is responsible for her child 24 hours a day and this may cause the postpartum depression. Baby care, breastfeeding, taking bath, laying down to sleep – all that is a hard job, which usually leads to sleep disorders. A woman might need much time to get used to her new lifestyle.
Let us not forget about social conditions. To buy everything your baby needs, you will need lots of money. Unemployment, poverty, isolation from the family, the lack of support from your partner and other factors may cause the anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of the postpartum depression
The postpartum depression, as well as other types of depression, has a wide range of symptoms that differ from one another in each individual case. The change of a woman’s psychological state may occur spontaneously and disappear quickly.
Irritability and anger are the most common symptoms of the postpartum depression. Women may be irritated by common things and deeds. Anxiety does not let some women to go out and meet their relatives sometimes. The postpartum depression symptoms may involve fear to be separated with the baby.
Panic attacks are more severe symptoms of the postpartum depression. Women can try to avoid some situations, and if they still arise, women experience excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat and even vomiting. Such attacks are hard to predict, as they may appear during usual daily activity.
The postpartum depression symptoms involve sleep disorders (quality, duration) and lead to fatigue. Sleeping problems may occur even when a baby is asleep. Sleepiness and inability to do home routine cause lack of interest to sex, woman’s appearance and everything that is going on around her. Difficult concentration and tearful state may occur for no obvious reason.
Excessive appetite and loss of appetite are also the postpartum depression symptoms. Extra weight often occurs after labor and affects the self-esteem. Imbalanced diet or starvation may cause or intensify the postpartum depression. Other obsessive-compulsive disorders involve intrusive thoughts and desire to keep high standards, for instance, a frequent house cleaning.
Treatment of the postpartum depression
First of all, a non-drug postpartum depression therapy involves measures that every woman can do on her own. In any types of the postpartum depression, the main thing is to understand that this is not a rare pathology and believe in a quick recovery. To prevent and treat the postpartum depression, mothers are recommended:
- To have rest as much as possible. Teach their body to fall asleep quickly and to have a nap when they are free. It would be great if a woman’s partner could feed the baby at night instead of her.
- Eat properly. Balanced diet provides a positive effect on a woman’s body and improves her mental state. Choose foods, high in macro- and micro-elements that does not require long cooking.
- Do what she enjoys to do regularly. A woman just has to give herself a little time during the day to rest with her friends and family. Walking in the park alone, workouts or dinners in restaurant will reduce the risk of the postpartum depression.
- Reduce the homework that do not require her involvement. Ask her partner or relatives to help her.
- A woman should let her partner help her. Hugs, kisses and other manifestations of tenderness will calm her down even if she does not want to have sex.
Treatment of moderate or severe postpartum depression may require the use of medications. Before you buy drugs for the postpartum depression treatment, consult your physician please. Many mothers mistakenly believe that up-to-date antidepressants cause drug dependence. It is not true. You just have to take such medications properly.