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Postpartum Mental Health Disorders Symptoms, Risks, and Their Types

Postpartum disorder is a severe mixture of physical, emotional, and psychological variations that usually happen while giving birth. However, it is linked to the biological, sociological, and mental processes that affect childbirth.

Childbirth may develop different kinds of intense emotions, from happiness and excitement to worry and fear. But, it may also rise to something which is unexpected: “Depression.”

Many new mothers usually have postpartum after delivery which is also called "baby blues." It includes mood changes, stress, sleeping problems, and even crying spells. The baby blues usually start from 2 to 3 days of post-delivery and can continue for two weeks.

However, some new mothers are often diagnosed with postpartum depression, which is considered a severe and long-lasting type of depression. Moreover, after delivery, a serious psychological disorder is known as postpartum psychosis sometimes occurs.

Postpartum depression is not really a weakness or defect in anyone's personality. Because it could be just a side effect of giving birth, when you suffer from postpartum depression, immediately taking help will allow you to manage your problems and connect with your baby.

What are the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?

Firstly, postpartum depression may also usually be confused with baby blues. However, the common symptoms seem to be more severe and long-lasting. So they can affect mothers’ capability to properly care for their newborns.

Moreover, the symptoms generally occur in the earlier several weeks after the birth, but they can also appear earlier during the pregnancy or afterward or even a year after.

Among have mentioned the symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • Severe Depressed mood or emotional mood swings
  • Crying a lot
  • Difficulty in interacting with your baby.
  • Disconnecting from friends and relatives
  • Lack of hunger or eating a lot more than usual
  • Insomnia (loss of the ability to sleep) or excessive sleeping
  • Extreme exhaustion or a lack of energy
  • Reduced interest and enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities
  • High frustration and anger
  • Fear of not being a good mother
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Feelings of failure, shame, regret, or meaninglessness
  • The capacity to think, focus, or decide things has weakened.
  • Restlessness
  • Severe Panic and anxiety spells
  • Fear of hurting yourself or your child
  • Death or suicide ideas on a daily basis

Postpartum depression can continue for months or even years if left untreated.

What are the Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression affects all women, irrespective of age, marital status, educational level, or socioeconomic status. Whereas no one can recognize who will grow PPD, specific factors have been recognized, including:

  • PPD's prior episode
  • Depression in the middle of pregnancy
  • Bipolar disorder or even a history of mental illness
  • Recent personal experiences that were stressful
  • Insufficient social support
  • Having marital complaint

What are the Types of Postpartum Depression?

There are three types of postpartum depression that women affect;

  • Postpartum blues

This syndrome, also called the "baby blues," impacts 50 to 75 percent of women after giving birth. You will also have regular, prolonged episodes of weeping for no particular reason, unhappiness, or anxiety unless you suffer from the baby blues. The issue commonly appears within the first week of childbirth (between one to four days). Despite the severity of the illness, it normally passes in two weeks without the need for treatment. However, you will require some comfort and support for caring for the baby and also the household.

  • Postpartum depression

It is a significantly worse serious illness than postpartum blues, and it affects around one out of every ten new mothers. When you've previously experienced postpartum depression, the risk rises to 30%. You might have continuous highs and lows, feelings of shame, stress, difficulty caring for your newborn or yourself, and continuous weeping, restlessness, and tiredness. Symptoms may sometimes vary from minor to extreme, and they can also arise instantly soon after the delivery and almost one year later. However, symptoms may also continue suddenly from weeks to years. There are two effective treatments to which doctors refer; “counseling” or “antidepressants.”

  • Postpartum psychosis

It is a severe case of postpartum depression that needs immediate medical treatment. It is a pretty rare disease, impacting just 1 in 1,000 women after delivery. Such symptoms usually start soon after delivery and seem to be severe, staying a few weeks or even months. Some of the symptoms are extreme anxiety, confusion, helplessness and guilt, sleeplessness, psychosis, thoughts or flashbacks, aggressiveness, quick speaking, or mania. Because there is a higher risk of suicide and injury to the newborn, postpartum psychosis involves fast medical help. The mum will generally be admitted to the hospital and given medicine as part of her treatment.

What is a Useful Treatment of Postpartum Disorder?

If you have a history of mental health problems, specifically postpartum depression, talk to your doctor before getting pregnant or even as early as you know you're expecting.

Your doctor may diagnose you closely to find the symptoms of depression and anxiety while you're pregnant. After and during your delivery, he or she would ask you to fill out a depression-screening assessment. Minor depression is sometimes treated with the help of support networks, counseling, or other methods. Antidepressants may also be given in different conditions, also during pregnancy.

Your doctor may prescribe an early postpartum screening once your baby is born to recognize the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. The soon it's discovered, the better it can be treated. If you have a past of postpartum depression, your doctor might recommend antidepressants or psychotherapy directly after your baby is born.

The Bottom Line

Postpartum mood disorders can sometimes be exhausting, risky, and tough to handle in a time when moms' lives are already unstable. Even its baby blues, which affect the majority of new mothers, may generate unhappiness and make life harder. It's essential to remember that these postpartum mood disorders can be treatable. However, they must first be diagnosed as such.

Share your issues with your health professional if you have a history of mental health problems or even other risk factors that can affect your postpartum mental health so that they can help you better manage your mental state before childbirth and even in the days and weeks after.