Peripartum Depression | symptoms and treatments
Peripartum depression is a mood disorder that affects women in the last trimester of pregnancy and in the first year after childbirth. The symptoms are very similar to those of major depressive disorder, but they are specific to this time period. In addition, postpartum depression can be accompanied by anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders or panic attacks.
Peripartum depression may also be triggered by previous episodes of clinical depression or bipolar disorder during other times in life. There isn’t any one cause for peripartum depression; it often results from a combination of factors such as hormonal changes, family history and personal worries about being a good mother.
peripartum depression is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment. Women with this disorder need to be under the care of a doctor who can monitor their symptoms.
Unaddressed peripartum depression has the potential to negatively impact both the mother’s health and her quality of life, as well as that of her child. Premature birth is one result of untreated peripartum depression; low birth weight is another. The consequences of peripartum depression can be life-long, so it’s important to find a doctor that you trust and work closely with them on your treatment plan.
Symptoms of peripartum depression
Symptoms of peripartum depression can vary depending on the individual. However, there are some common symptoms that you will likely experience if you have this type of mood disorder:
unhappy or sad feelings about being a mother
lack of interest in your baby and others around you
low self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
lack of concentration, memory loss or difficulty making decisions
extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest
a change in appetite, either leading to weight loss or gain
trouble sleeping at night and/or increased sleep during the day
irritability and mood swings. Some people describe this symptom as feeling like they are “on edge” and may be more likely to snap at others
increased anxiety, panic attacks or excessive worrying about your baby’s health.
Women who are experiencing peripartum depression frequently experience worry as well. They may be concerned about their ability to take care of themselves and/or others, whether they are good enough mothers or if something is wrong with them.
There is no precise diagnostic test for peripartum depression, which is a genuine condition that must be treated seriously. Treatment usually involves a combination of medication and counseling.
When choosing antidepressants, it’s important to remember that they are not always safe for breastfeeding mothers or the baby; this is why you need to discuss your options with your doctor before taking any type of medication.
Pregnancy and postpartum mood changes are influenced by a variety of hormonal, nutritional, hereditary, and social factors. Changes in sex and stress hormones, as well as thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy and immediately after delivery have been linked to emotional disturbances.
Treatment of Peripartum depression
Peripartum depression is treatable through medication, psychotherapy or both. Talk therapy involves working with a counselor to identify the source of emotional distress and develop coping strategies. It can help you to resolve your feelings and improve your self-esteem as well as family relationships.
medication for peripartum depression is often the first course of action selected by doctors treating this disorder because it works quickly, unlike talk therapy which takes time before showing results. However, medication should be combined with counseling so that patients can work through their feelings and emotions.
Whether you choose medication, psychotherapy or both to treat your peripartum depression, it’s important to be patient with yourself as well as have an open mind about what will help you recover from this mood disorder. Peripartum depression can feel like a cloud hanging over everything in life; by working with your doctor, you can find the treatment that works for you and start to feel like yourself again.
Medication for the treatment of Peripartum Depression
medication for the treatment of Peripartum Depression is often the first course of action selected by doctors treating this disorder because it works quickly, unlike talk therapy which takes time before showing results. However, medication should be combined with counseling so that patients can work through their feelings and emotions.
Self-help and Coping
Peripartum depression can feel like a cloud hanging over everything in life; by working with your doctor, you can find the treatment that works for you and start to feel like yourself again.
Self-help and coping techniques are another key part of getting well after experiencing peripartum depression. Coping strategies will help ease stress, manage anger and improve relationships with others.
Family and friends can be a significant source of encouragement, as can participating in a mother’s group. A nutritious diet and regular exercise might also aid recovery.
Help From Partners, Family and Friends for a Peripartum Depression patient
It is critical to have solid help from family and friends. Here are some tips from the National Institutes for Health’s Moms’ Mental Health Matters, a NIH-sponsored program, on how relatives may assist:
- Know the Signs: Learn the symptoms of peripartum depression so you can recognize when your partner needs help.
- Be Supportive: Be patient and give positive feedback for any progress made in treatment, no matter how small it may seem to you.
- Speak Up About Depression: Tell friends and family that if they notice changes in your partner’s behavior or mood, they should encourage her to seek help
- Give Encouragement: Be encouraging and supportive by offering assistance, such as babysitting or taking care of chores around the house that she could be doing if not for depression.
- Be Patient With Treatment: Understand that it may take some time before your partner responds to treatment so remain patient with them throughout the process.
- Offer to Help Your Partner: Offer your partner assistance in getting help, but do not force her to get treatment against her will because it could have negative consequences on recovery.
- Give Positive Feedback for Any Progress Made: Give positive feedback that you notice any progress made by your partner even if the progress is small or seemingly insignificant.
Other ailments that may occur during pregnancy and after birth include:
Anemia, postpartum infection, urinary tract infections (UTI), breast engorgement, mastitis and hemorrhoids. These conditions can usually be treated using medications or alternative therapies such as acupuncture.
Conclusion: If you’re feeling depressed, anxious or stressed about your new baby, we can help. Contact our doctors today and they’ll be happy to answer any questions and get started on a treatment plan for both of you.
We know that peripartum depression doesn’t just affect pregnant women- it also affects fathers, partners and children who are close to the mother during this time period too! Are there some symptoms that someone with peripartum depression might experience?
You may feel sad or hopeless; have low energy levels; sleep excessively; lose interest in activities you used to enjoy; not want sex from your partner anymore (or even think about hurting yourself).