The birth of a child can usher in a huge range of feelings, ranging from joy and relief — to stress and exhaustion. Sometimes negative postpartum feelings are mild and will simply dissipate with time.
However the “baby blues” signal a deeper issue for some new mothers Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious and surprisingly common affliction for new moms. Luckily, postpartum depression is treatable when properly recognized and diagnosed.
What is Postpartum Depression?
After pregnancy, some women experience a serious form of depression brought on by a combination of hormonal and lifestyle changes. The shift in hormones like estrogen and progesterone can cause chemical changes which alter a woman’s mood. In addition, the sleep loss of early parenthood can be a contributing factor. Though everyone is different, some signs of postpartum depression include:
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Having trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating, or performing normal activities
- Unusual anxiety, moodiness, rage, or restlessness
- Having trouble bonding with baby
- Worrying that she might hurt herself or the baby
How Common is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a surprisingly common issue, affecting approximately 1 in 7 women, or 10 to 15%. For 30 to 70% of these women, symptoms continue for a year or longer, and usually begin sometime in the first four weeks following the birth.
How Can You Help Someone with Postpartum Depression?
First of all, it’s important to be on the alert and look for signs of PPD in new mothers. When talking to a new mother, make sure to ask how she is feeling and pay attention to any changes in her behavior. Be compassionate and non-judgmental, and understand that PPD is nobody’s fault.
If you think you or someone you care about is suffering from postpartum depression, it’s important to seek help from a licensed professional. In cases where you think she might harm herself or the baby, seek help right away.
How Can It Be Treated and Managed?
Fortunately, even serious cases of PPD can be managed with the help of a mental health professional. A licensed psychiatrist can talk to a mother who is suffering from postpartum depression and come up with a treatment plan. Often, medication like antidepressants can be used to manage symptoms.
Why call/see Dr. Anastasiou for Help?
As a licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Anastasiou offers compassionate and caring treatment for new mothers suffering from postpartum depression in Pleasanton, CA, and the surrounding areas. Ready to seek help for PPD? Please contact us today.