Many new mothers suffer from the baby blues within the first year after giving childbirth but some suffer from a more severe form of emotional suffering known as Postpartum Depression (PPD). Nationally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that this type of depression can affect up to 600,000 women annually and can also affect the baby’s development. Prompt treatment is important to both mother and child and can help mothers to begin to truly enjoy their baby.
Symptoms and Causes
Postpartum Depression affects more than 1 in 10 new mothers and carries many of the same signs as other forms of depression. Typically, if you see or experience symptoms including restlessness, irritability, sadness, and hopelessness lasting for 2 weeks or more, it could indicate PPD. PPD may also result in lack of sleep, withdrawal, crying and various other painful symptoms. PPD is thought to be caused by chemical and hormonal imbalances as well as environmental conditions such as stress during and after pregnancy. Some researchers also believe that the fast change in hormone levels may lead to depression, just as smaller changes in hormones can affect a woman’s moods before her menstrual period.
The most common treatments of PPD include the use of medications, typically through hormone therapy and antidepressants, as well as talk therapy. The risks of medications have to be weighed carefully against the risks of depression and a woman needs to make that decision carefully with her doctor. Traditional and progressive talk therapies, however, can also be a very effective treatment for this condition and provides an alternative to medications. Therapy can also help to supplement an existing, medical treatment plan.
Many women in the Southwest suffer from Postpartum Depression and I hope to be a local resource to help new mothers find a path to work through this common condition to discover a new joy in being a mom! I concentrate on a proven method of building skills and offering support and I have helped many new mothers work through their symptoms of PPD. I look forward to helping you move past Post Partum and start to enjoy motherhood!
You can also check out my Battling the Baby Blues Blog post for more ideas and info!