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Visit a Women’s Doctor to See if You Have Postpartum Depression
It is common for women to suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth. Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can occur after childbirth for some women. The majority of women have some level of sadness or “baby blues” following delivery due to the drastic hormonal changes that occur, but a few women experience more severe depression that is similar to Major Depressive Disorder and lasts for several weeks or months and often up to a year.
PPD is a common condition
According to the American Psychological Association, one in seven women experience postpartum depression, also known as PPD. (http://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/postpartum-depression.aspx). While PPD can display symptoms early after childbirth or even during pregnancy, it can also show up after a woman believes her chances of having it are gone. For the majority of women, PPD is related to hormone level changes, but women who have a family history of depression or previous personal experience with depression are more at risk. Stress, body pain, first-time motherhood, a history of lost pregnancies, sleep deprivation, difficult or unexpected childbirth, other emotional trauma around the time of birth, lack of help with the baby and having a colicky baby are other triggers of PPD. Women who have experienced PPD in the past are likely to get it again with subsequent childbirths and can receive therapy during pregnancy to help combat the severity of it.
Watch for the symptoms
The symptoms of PPD are extensive and should only be cause for concern if they are consistent and last more than two weeks; otherwise, they could be usual “baby blues.” The following are signs and symptoms to look out for:
- A loss of interest in activities a woman once enjoyed
- Low libido
- Unusual eating habits (including eating too much or too little)
- Panic attacks
- Scary thoughts
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Crying for extended periods of time
- Feeling guilty
- Fearful or miserable feelings
- Disinterest in the baby or other family members and friends
- Thoughts of hurting oneself or the baby
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering simple things
When dealing with any of these symptoms, a woman should seek counsel and treatment, so she can better enjoy motherhood and life.
A women's doctor can treat more severe cases
A more severe condition known as Postpartum Psychosis affects much fewer women and should not be confused with PPD. A woman experiencing postpartum psychosis can be paranoid, delusional, sleepless and dangerous to herself and the baby. Immediate medication and possibly hospitalization could be needed in this case.
For a woman experiencing PPD, exercise, more sleep, cognitive behavioral therapy and a proper support system are the best treatment options. She should be aware it is a common problem and it in no way means she is a lousy mother. No mother should feel guilty about being depressed as it is not under her control.
Exercise is a great way to help deal with PPD as it can boost energy and help to improve mood. Also, exercising allows the mother to make time for herself which can improve symptoms of PPD by helping eliminate some of the stress that can help trigger symptoms.
Sleep is always an important factor in proper physical and mental health. If possible, setting a routine where you are able to nap with your baby at available times can help improve the amount of sleep you are getting to make things easier.
Behavioral therapy is often used to help treat symptoms of postpartum depression. It helps to ensure that the type of therapy is beneficial to the mother; there are several options for cognitive behavioral therapy, including individual counseling, therapy groups, meditation, and more. Additionally, doctors may prescribe an oral medication to help combat severe depression symptoms.
Other ways to treat PPD include maintaining a healthy diet. While diet is important during pregnancy, it is important to continue eating healthy and focusing on self-care once the baby is born. This can improve energy levels and mood as well as the ability to focus and concentrate.
Lastly, finding support groups for mothers can go a long way in helping PPD as it helps prevent isolation and educate the mother about PPD and what she can do about it and that it’s not her fault.
Visit a doctor for help and guidance
To learn more about what PPD is, what treatment options are available, and how to receive them, visit our office today. Postpartum depression can be a severe condition, but it can also be easily treated to provide a woman with peace of mind, happiness, and energy once again by scheduling an appointment today.
Request an appointment in our Fresno office here: https://fresnoobgyn.com.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Postpartum Depression in Fresno, CA.
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