Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it challenging to complete daily care activities for themselves or others. Cambridge Biotherapies™ offers many treatment options and information for women.
Postpartum depression does not have a single cause. Both physical and emotional factors contribute to its onset. Postpartum depression does not occur because of something a mother does or does not do.
The hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in a woman’s body rapidly drop after childbirth. This hormonal change triggers a cascade of chemical fluctuations that can trigger mood swings. In addition, many mothers have trouble getting the rest they need to fully recover from giving birth. Constant sleep deprivation can lead to physical discomfort and exhaustion, which can contribute to the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Some of the more common symptoms a woman may experience include:
A healthcare provider can diagnose a woman with postpartum depression. Because this condition manifests differently for all women, a healthcare provider can help a woman figure out whether the symptoms are due to postpartum depression or something else. A woman who experiences any of these symptoms should immediately see a healthcare provider.
“Baby blues” describes the worry, unhappiness, and fatigue a lot of women experience after giving birth. Babies require a lot of care, so it’s normal for mothers to be worried about or tired from providing that care. Baby blues, which affects up to 80 percent of mothers, include mild feelings that last a week or two and go away on their own.
With postpartum depression, sadness and anxiety can be extreme and might interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself or her family. Because of the severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression usually requires treatment. The condition, which occurs in nearly 15 percent of births, may begin shortly before or any time after childbirth but commonly begins between a week and a month after delivery.
Some women are at greater risk for developing postpartum depression because they have one or more risk factors, such as:
Symptoms of depression during or after a previous pregnancy
There are effective treatments for postpartum depression. Among these are psychotherapy, medication (including ketamine), and TMS. New mothers can use these treatment methods alone or together. These treatments are more effective than conventional medications, especially for depression that has not responded to previous medication trials. Both treatments address the brain areas most commonly associated with depression. Ketamine works chemically, while TMS works electromagnetically to rewire the brain, diverting regions and actions linked with depressive disorders.
Without treatment, postpartum depression can last for months or years. In addition to affecting the mother’s health, it can interfere with her ability to connect with and care for her baby and may cause the baby to have problems with sleeping, eating, and behavior as they grow. Contact us to get started on your journey to healing.