What Causes Postpartum Depression After Pregnancy

Using Medications While Breastfeeding

Postpartum Depression after Pregnancy

The nutritional, immunologic and psychological benefits of breastfeeding have been well documented. Women who plan to breastfeed must be informed that all psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, are secreted into the breast milk. Concentrations in the breast milk appear to vary widely. The amount of medication to which an infant is exposed depends on several factors, including dosage of medication, rate of maternal drug metabolism, and frequency and timing of feedings .

Over the past five years, data have accumulated regarding the use of various antidepressants during breastfeeding . Available data on the tricyclic antidepressants, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline during breastfeeding have been encouraging and suggest that significant complications related to neonatal exposure to psychotropic drugs in breast milk appear to be rare. While less information is available on other antidepressants, there have been no reports of serious adverse events related to exposure to these medications.

Treating Postpartum Depression In Men

Untreated, postpartum depression can cause marital and family problems. It can even affect the childs growth and development. Fortunately, it can be treated.

Treatment for men is the same as for women: medicine, such as an antidepressant, and/or counseling. Treatment may focus on the cause of a mans depression. For some, being a parent may feel overwhelming and they wonder if they are up to the task. Teaching parenting skills may boost dads confidence and reduce their depression.

New dads can also seek help at UPMC Central Pa. behavioral health. Call them at 717-231-8360.

What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Some people feel ashamed about their symptoms or feel they are terrible parents for feeling the way they do. Postpartum depression is extremely common. You’re not the only person who feels this way, and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

You may have postpartum depression if you experience some of the following:

  • Feeling sad, worthless, hopeless or guilty.
  • Worrying excessively or feeling on edge.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or things you once enjoyed.
  • Changes in appetite or not eating.
  • Loss of energy and motivation.
  • Trouble sleeping or wanting to sleep all the time.
  • Crying for no reason or excessively.
  • Difficulty thinking or focusing.
  • Thoughts of suicide or wishing you were dead.
  • Lack of interest in your baby or feeling anxious around your baby.
  • Thoughts of hurting your baby or feeling like you don’t want your baby.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have postpartum depression. This can be your obstetrician, primary care provider or mental health provider. Your baby’s pediatrician can also help you.

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What Are The Main Causes Of Postpartum Anxiety

There is no one cause for postpartum anxiety. Healthcare providers think several factors can cause it:

  • Change in hormones: The sharp decrease in hormones after delivery can cause changes in mood or cause you to overreact to stress.
  • Lack of sleep: Caring for newborns can be a 24-hour job and cause sleep deprivation.
  • Feelings of responsibility: You may be overcome with feelings of needing to protect and care for your new baby.
  • Stressful events: Certain milestones or events in your baby’s life could trigger anxiety. For example, issues with breastfeeding, a difficult pregnancy or stressful delivery.
  • Risk factors that increase your chances of postpartum anxiety: Health conditions and past experiences may put you at a higher risk for developing anxiety.

Causes Of Postnatal Depression

3 Differences Between Postpartum Depression and The Baby Blues  Rachel ...

The cause of postnatal depression is not completely clear.

There are a number of things that may make you more likely to have postnatal depression. These include:

  • a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life
  • a history of mental health problems during pregnancy
  • having no close family or friends to support you
  • a difficult relationship with your partner
  • recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement
  • physical or psychological trauma, such as domestic violence

Even if you do not have any of these, having a baby is a life-changing event that can sometimes trigger depression.

It often takes time to adapt to becoming a new parent. Looking after a baby can be stressful and exhausting.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from woman to woman. But common signs include:

  • feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
  • feeling worried, scared, or panicked
  • blaming yourself unnecessarily
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • trouble concentrating
  • not feeling attached to the baby
  • not wanting to do things that usually are enjoyable

Although it is very rare, some women have very serious symptoms such as:

  • thoughts of hurting the baby or themselves
  • hearing voices, seeing things that are not there, or feeling paranoid

When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • Your baby blues do not go away after 2 weeks
  • Symptoms of depression get more intense
  • Symptoms of depression begin at any time after delivery, even many months later
  • It is hard for you to perform tasks at work or home
  • You cannot care for yourself or your baby
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • You develop thoughts that are not based in reality, or you start hearing or seeing things that other people don’t

Do not be afraid to seek help right away if you feel overwhelmed and are afraid that you may hurt your baby.

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How Can I Help My Friend With Postpartum Anxiety

The best thing you can do for your friend with postpartum anxiety is to be a supportive listener. Allow your friend to talk through their thoughts and feelings. They are likely feeling overwhelmed, so offering to help with household chores or other errands could be beneficial.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Adjusting to life with a new baby comes with lots of new challenges. Some worrying in the years after childbirth is expected. For some people, the worrying becomes extreme and takes over their thoughts or leads to physical symptoms like heart palpitations and insomnia. This could be postpartum anxiety. Know that it is not your fault if you feel like this, and many others experience similar symptoms. Help is available to you. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of postpartum anxiety. You donât need to suffer. Youâll feel better if you seek treatment for your symptoms.

How Common Is Postpartum Depression

Depression During Pregnancy

It’s very common: An estimated 1 in 8 moms develop PPD, according to the CDC. Many experts believe this number is even higher because so many women don’t seek treatment, or dismiss their concerns as the baby blues or the normal stressors of being a new mom.

The risk is even higher for new moms of color: Around 1 in 5 Black, Native American, and Asian women may experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Experts connect these disparities to the obstacles that women of color face regarding maternal mental health, including a greater stigma surrounding mental illness and a distrust of the healthcare system. Postpartum depression is also more prevalent in transgender men who keep their reproductive organs and give birth.

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  • What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Anxiety

    Anxiety is your body’s way of responding to danger or threats. If you have postpartum anxiety, you may feel like you or your baby is in constant danger. The symptoms you feel are your body’s way of reacting to this constant sense of worry or fear.

    Common signs of postpartum anxiety are:

    Physical symptoms

    • Feeling on edge or fearful.

    Behavioral symptoms

    • Avoiding certain activities, people or places.
    • Being overly cautious about situations that aren’t dangerous.
    • Checking things over and over again.
    • Being controlling.

    There are certain conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder or panic disorders that can affect you during the postpartum period. If you are suffering from either of these conditions, you may have panic attacks or obsessive thoughts.

    Be honest with your healthcare providers about all the symptoms you feel. They are there to support you and recommend treatments to help.

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    How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last

    Postpartum depression can last until one year after your child is born. However, this doesn’t mean you should feel “cured” in one year. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and treatment. Be honest about how you feel. Think carefully about if you feel better than you did at the beginning of your diagnosis. Then, they can recommend ongoing treatment for your symptoms.

    Treatment For Postpartum Anxiety

    Postnatal Depression: Symptoms &  Treatment · Mango Clinic

    The most important step in getting help for postpartum anxiety is to get diagnosed. That 18 percent figure we mentioned earlier for postpartum anxiety prevalence? It could be even higher, because some women may stay silent about their symptoms.

    Be sure to go to your postpartum check-up with your doctor. This is usually scheduled within the first 6 weeks after delivery. Know that you can and should also schedule a follow-up appointment whenever you have worrisome symptoms.

    Both postpartum anxiety and PPD can affect your bond with your baby. But there is treatment available.

    After talking about your symptoms with your doc, you may get medications, a referral to a mental health specialist, or recommendations for supplements or complementary treatments like acupuncture.

    Specific therapies that might help include cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy .

    Certain activities can also help you feel more in control, like:

    • relaxation techniques

    Not buying it? One study of 30 women of childbearing age found that exercise especially resistance training lowered symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Now, these women were not in the postpartum stage, but this result bears considering.

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    Depression During Pregnancy And After

    For too many women, joyfully anticipated pregnancy and motherhood bring depression as an unexpected accompaniment. Children as well as mothers suffer. Depression during pregnancy may result in poor prenatal care, premature delivery, low birth weight, and, just possibly, depression in the child. Depression after childbirth can lead to child neglect, family breakdown, and suicide. A depressed mother may fail to bond emotionally with her newborn, raising the child’s risk of later cognitive delays and emotional and behavior problems. Fortunately, if the depression is detected soon enough, help is available for mother and child.

    Getting Help For Postpartum Depression

    Postpartum counseling in a safe, comfortable, and judgement-free environment will empower you! Youll learn new coping strategies and techniques to manage your thoughts and feelings. Youll be able to use these skills for other stressors in your life. This is how you will get back to feeling more like yourself again!

    We are ready to meet you! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.


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    How Do I Cope With Postpartum Anxiety

    First, know that you’re not alone and that caring for a new baby is hard work. Your feelings are valid, and there is nothing you did to cause postpartum anxiety. The best thing you can do for yourself is to seek help from your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you find the support you need or recommend medication, if necessary. Finding a group of trusted friends or family members to talk to or share responsibilities with may help. Finally, try to set aside time for activities that bring you happiness. Sometimes parents forget about themselves. Taking a few minutes to enjoy a hobby can help take your mind off your worries.

    Certain Kinds Of Counseling Can Help Prevent Depression If Youre At Risk For Depression Talk To Your Provider About Finding A Counselor

    Postpartum Depression

    What is postpartum depression?

    Postpartum depression is a medical condition that many women get after having a baby. Its strong feelings of sadness, anxiety and tiredness that last for a long time after giving birth. These feelings can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby. PPD can happen any time after childbirth. It often starts within 1 to 3 weeks of having a baby. It needs treatment to get better.

    PPD is a kind of perinatal depression. This is depression that happens during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth. PPD is the most common complication for women who have just had a baby. It affects up to 1 in 7 women .

    For half of women diagnosed with PPD, its their first time to have depression. And they may have had signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy. If you have PPD in one pregnancy, youre likely to have it again in another pregnancy.

    PPD is not your fault. It doesnt make you a bad person or a bad mother. If you think you have PPD, tell your health care provider.

    Is PPD the same as the baby blues?

    No. PPD lasts longer and is more serious than baby blues. Baby blues are feelings of sadness you may have after having a baby. Baby blues can happen 2 to 35 days after you give birth and can last up to 2 weeks. You may have trouble sleeping, be moody or cranky, and cry a lot. If you have sad feelings that last longer than 2 weeks, tell your provider. She can check to see if you may have PPD.

    Changes in your feelings:

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    Prior To The 19th Century

    Western medical science’s understanding and construction of postpartum depression has evolved over the centuries. Ideas surrounding women’s moods and states have been around for a long time, typically recorded by men. In 460 B.C., Hippocrates wrote about puerperal fever, agitation, delirium, and mania experienced by women after child birth. Hippocrates’ ideas still linger in how postpartum depression is seen today.

    What Medications Can I Take For Postpartum Depression

    Your healthcare provider may prescribe antidepressants to manage symptoms of postpartum depression. Antidepressants help balance the chemicals in your brain that affect your mood.

    If you’re breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking an antidepressant. Medications can transfer to your baby through your milk. However, the transfer level is generally low, and many antidepressant medications are considered safe. Your provider can help you decide what medicine is right for you based on your symptoms and if you’re nursing.

    Some common antidepressants for postpartum depression are:

    Keep in mind that it takes at least three or four weeks for antidepressants to work. Talk to your healthcare provider before stopping the medication. Stopping your medication too soon can cause symptoms to return. Most providers will recommend reducing your dose before stopping completely.

    If your provider detects postpartum depression while youâre still in the hospital, they may recommend IV medication containing brexanolone.

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    What Are The Risk Factors For Ppd

    • A change in hormone levels after childbirth

    • Previous experience of depression or anxiety

    • Family history of depression or mental illness

    • Stress involved in caring for a newborn and managing new life changes

    • Having a challenging baby who cries more than usual, is hard to comfort, or whose sleep and hunger needs are irregular and hard to predict

    • Having a baby with special needs

    • First-time motherhood, very young motherhood, or older motherhood

    • Other emotional stressors, such as the death of a loved one or family problems

    • Financial or employment problems

    • Isolation and lack of social support

    What Is Postpartum Psychosis

    How to Deal with Depression During Pregnancy? · Mango Clinic

    Postpartum psychosis is rare. It happens in up to 4 new mothers out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. It is a medical emergency. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health condition called schizoaffective disorder have a higher risk of postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:

    • Seeing or hearing things that arent there
    • Feeling confused most of the time
    • Having rapid mood swings within several minutes
    • Trying to hurt yourself or your baby
    • Restlessness or agitation
    • Behaving recklessly or in a way that is not normal for you

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    Treatment For Postpartum Depression At The Meadowglade

    The most common and most effective treatments for postpartum depression include therapy and medications. As a part of therapy sessions at The Meadowglade, you will talk to your therapy provider about your depression symptoms. Therapy aims to help you understand your depression and how its symptoms impact your daily life and your relationship with your baby and loved ones. It will also help you develop and practice strategies you can use to change how depression affects your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

    In addition to therapy, your provider may also recommend medications to help reduce the intensity of depression symptoms. The most common medications used as part of a postpartum depression treatment plan are antidepressants. Antidepressant medications can help you manage the severity of depression symptoms so you can focus on overcoming depression. Although some antidepressants can be taken while breastfeeding, it is essential to talk to all medical providers to ensure there are no risks of negative medication interactions.

    Typically, medications and therapy are used simultaneously as part of a comprehensive treatment program. Using medications to treat depression may reduce the influence depression symptoms have on your emotional and physical health. Focusing on healing rather than the adverse effects of depression symptoms can help you progress further down the path to recovery from postpartum depression.

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