Many women today suffer from Postpartum Depression; probably from the lack of knowledge of PPD. Postpartum depression is an illness that every woman should know after giving birth. PPD is an illness that can affect many women and can go unrecognized, so it is important to take care of yourself and recognize the symptoms of PPD. All new mothers will experience some form of Postpartum Depression; however, knowing the symptoms will help you seek the proper medical treatment, and overcome PPD.
Some women do not know what postpartum depression is and what affects it can have; thus, women can think that what they are feeling are merely “baby blues”. What is Postpartum Depression? PPD is a serious illness that can occur during your pregnancy, or the first few months after giving birth. It also can happen after miscarriage and stillbirth (“ WebMD,” 2008). Postpartum depression can make you feel very sad, tired, have lots crying spells, and unable to care for you baby. PPD is not what “baby blues” are, which is a feeling of moodiness, crying spells, and trouble sleeping that is accompanied with happy times. The “baby blues” only last for a couple of days or weeks, but postpartum can last for months and maybe up to a year without treatment.
On the other hand if you are in doubt of the feelings you are experiencing, then you should talk to your family or friends. Your family can help you figure out if you are indeed having symptoms of PPD. You might even learn if one of your family members experienced the illness of PPD. Doing some research online of postpartum depression can clear some questions you are having about the illness. The Internet contains enormous information of postpartum depression, which can be very helpful with your current feelings and future reference after giving birth. Seeing a doctor will help you come to a conclusion if you have PPD; therefore, he can identify your symptoms and get medical treatment. Before seeing a doctor write a list of questions you may have along with the symptoms you are experiencing, so you will not leave the office with unanswered questions.
Having knowledge of post partum depression can help you indentify if you have the illness, and seek proper medical treatment. What are the symptoms of PPD? This is a common question for all women who have given birth, and husbands who are concerned. The following are symptoms of Postpartum Depression are: Crying for “no reason”, feeling inadequate, Difficulty making decisions, confusion, anxiety, nervousness, dizziness, heart pounding, chest pains, feelings o hopelessness, sleep disturbances, angry feelings toward husband, baby or self, compulsive behaviors, thoughts of hurting your child or self, no interest in previously enjoyable activities, and other symptoms (“The Center for Postpartum Adjustment,” 2006).
Knowing the risks factors for PPD can in fact help you identify the illness, and overcome it sooner then you thought, for the result may even be that in the future when having another child; PPD may not even reoccur. Who is at risk and what increases the risk? This is an important question to ask your doctor for this will prevent severe problems. About 75% of women who are depressed during pregnancy will also have postpartum depression. (“WebMD,” 2008) If you have had postpartum depression before, you are at high risk of having it again. Statistics say that about 50e of women with the history of PPD will have it after a future pregnancy (“WebMD,”2008) 2008). Additionally women with a family history of PPD (e.g. mother, grandmother, sister, or aunt) can have high risk of getting the illness as well. A bearer of an unwanted pregnancy; a long, difficult or complicated labor; an unsupported labor; or delivery of a premature, comprised, or defective baby is also an increased risk of PPD (“The Center for Postpartum Adjustment”, 2006) Stress can also trigger the risk for PPD, for instance like having a colicky newborn, financial issues, put your career on hold, or marriage problems. All new mothers experience the overwhelming feeling of not doing a well job, so their stress level goes skyrocket.
Treatment for PPD will help overcome the illness slowly with observation, during the intake of antidepressants or counseling. It is best for women to seek counseling or support groups before deciding to take antidepressants. Seek to look at your nearest hospital for support groups to discuss your problem; therefore, you will not feel as if you were the only person with PPD. Support groups allow you to discuss your story and in return you will hear the similar story of women with PPD. On the other hand if you think that you need more then just counseling, then see your doctor for medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor will give you antidepressant at a set dosage and decrease it with the progress your that making.
Antidepressants are mostly given to women who have Postpartum Major Depression [PMD]. Epperson (1999) states that PMD is a severe illness that needs immediate treatment, although it is arguable that all women with PMD should seek some type of counseling, a woman whose depression is persistent or so severe that she is having difficulty taking care of herself or functioning as a mother, or is having thoughts of harming herself or her child should be evaluated for antidepressant treatment.
Postpartum Depression is an important illness that should be taken with precaution; however, without treatment PPD can lead to severe problems to your health and life. We have many medical resources and support groups to help with you with PPD; there it is not an excuse to let yourself go without treatment. It is important to be able to bond with your baby without PPD.