Are Some Women More At Risk Of Postpartum Depression
Yes. You may be more at risk of postpartum depression if you:
- Have a personal history of depression or bipolar disorder
- Have a family history of depression or bipolar disorder
- Do not have support from family and friends
- Were depressed during pregnancy
- Lose your appetite
- Have trouble sleeping
The baby blues usually go away in 3 to 5 days after they start. The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression usually begins within the first month after childbirth, but it can begin during pregnancy or for up to a year after birth.
Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor or nurse.
Postpartum Hair Loss: What It Is And How To Fix It
Childbirth can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming process for a lot of women.
But what happens after child birth can be just as challenging. For many women, postpartum, especially in the first few months after giving birth to a beautiful baby, can be an emotional roller coaster.
Theres depression, stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, higher risk of infections, and hair loss.
How could something like this possibly happen in otherwise healthy women?
Well go over why some women experience the loss of hair postpartum and what they can do today to fix this confusing phenomenon.
Depression And Pregnancy: Signs To Look For And How To Get Help
By: Nadia Khan
Most people trying to get pregnant yearn to see two bright pink lines on a pregnancy test indicating a positive result. They whoop with joy when a digital sign reads “Pregnant.” They can’t wait to share the news with family and post an announcement on social media. Good wishes and congratulations pour in, and everyone looks forward to the due date in anticipation of the bundle of joy.
Pregnancy is typically depicted as a joyful, ecstatic time for the parents to be. Socially there is an expectation and belief that the mom is glowing, happy, and excited. And for the most part, these are all emotions a newly pregnant woman experiences or expects to experience. It’s a well-known fact the surge of hormones and changes a woman’s body goes through can trigger all sorts of emotional ups and downs. The happiness and joy are a given, but what happens when things are not as rosy as you had expected them to be? What happens when the initial ecstatic joy you feel begins to be clouded with anxiety, fear, and sadness?
Through the haze of social media announcements, planning a nursery, and shopping for baby clothes, the last thing you might expect to feel is a darker, less magical emotion depression. As you struggle with the confusing mélange of emotions coursing through your brain, you may hesitate to talk about them because women have been taught pregnancy is a happy time and anything less than positive thoughts are unheard of and won’t be tolerated.
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What Do You Need To Know About St Johns Wort To Treat Depression
St. John’s wort is an herb that some people use to treat depression. We dont know for sure how well it works in pregnant women or if it can cause problems during pregnancy. Herbal products arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , so there isnt much information about how safe it is for pregnant women or rules about how much you can take.
If youre thinking about taking St. Johns wort or any other herbal product during pregnancy, talk to your provider first. Theres very little information on how herbal products may affect your pregnancy.
Who Gets Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression can affect any woman but some may be more at risk for developing it. Women who have had any kind of depression in the past or who have a family history of depression are more likely to get postpartum depression.
Other things that might increase the chance of postpartum depression include serious stress during the pregnancy, medical problems during the pregnancy or after birth, and lack of support at home.
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Talking To Your Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with your doctor health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read our Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your doctor, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Are Antidepressant Medications Safe During Pregnancy
Growing evidence suggests that many of the currently available antidepressant medicines are relatively safe for treating depression during pregnancy, at least in terms of short-term effects on the baby. Long-term effects have not been fully studied. You should discuss the possible risks and benefits with your doctor.
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What To Expect During A Future Pregnancy If Youve Had Perinatal Depression Before
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and worry. If youve had pregnancy-related depression before, its understandable that you may have worries when planning for another child. You may be anxious about the possibility of having it again. While having a history of perinatal depression does increase your risk, it doesnt mean that youre destined to experience it again.
Icipating In Clinical Research
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. We have new and better treatment options today because of what clinical trials uncovered years ago. Be part of tomorrows medical breakthroughs. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you.
For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information webpage.
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Is Ppd The Same As The Baby Blues
No. PPD lasts longer and is more serious than baby blues. Baby blues are feelings of sadness you may have after having a baby. Baby blues can happen 2 to 3 days after you give birth and can last up to 2 weeks. You may have trouble sleeping, be moody or cranky, and cry a lot. If you have sad feelings that last longer than 2 weeks, tell your provider. She can check to see if you may have PPD.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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If You Have Ppd What Can You Do To Help You Feel Better
Heres what you can do to help the treatment from your provider work better:
Stay healthy and fit.
- Do something active every day. Go for a walk or get back to the gym.
- Eat healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and lean meats. Try to eat fewer sweets and salty snacks.
- Get as much rest as you can. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
- Dont drink alcohol. This includes beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can slow your body down and make you feel more depressed. It also can interact with the medicine youre taking for PPD. Its never a good idea to drink alcohol if youre breastfeeding. This is because you can pass alcohol to your baby through your breast milk.
- Dont take street drugs. These affect the way your body works and can cause problems with the medicine youre taking for PPD. You also can pass street drugs to your baby through breast milk.
Ask for and accept help.
- Keep in touch with people you care about and who care about you. Tell your partner, family and friends how youre feeling.
- Take time for yourself. Ask someone you trust to watch the baby so you can get out of the house. Visit a friend, get outside or do something you enjoy. Plan for some time alone with your partner.
- Let others help around the house. Ask your friends and family to watch the baby, help with housekeeping or go grocery shopping. Dont be afraid to tell them what you need.
Reduce your stress.
Can Depression During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby
Some women dont seek treatment for their pregnancy depression out of embarrassment, shame or guilt, or simply because they think their depression symptoms are just normal pregnancy symptoms that will go away on their own.
Over time, these problems can snowball as your baby gets older. Babies and children of mothers who experienced depression during pregnancy are at greater risk for learning delays and emotional issues, including aggression.
Theres also the fact that depression may not end when your pregnancy does. Being depressed when youre pregnant also puts you at a higher risk of postpartum depression. In fact, research estimates that around a quarter of women with PPD first became depressed while they were pregnant.
So if you think theres any chance youre suffering from pregnancy depression, ask for help for yourself, but also because your baby needs a mother who’s healthy both physically and mentally.
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What Is Perinatal Depression
Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during pregnancy and after childbirth. The word perinatal refers to the time before and after the birth of a child. Perinatal depression includes depression that begins during pregnancy and depression that begins after the baby is born . Mothers with perinatal depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that may make it difficult for them to carry out daily tasks, including caring for themselves or others.
How is postpartum depression different from the baby blues? The baby blues is a term used to describe mild mood changes and feelings of worry, unhappiness, and exhaustion that many women sometimes experience in the first 2 weeks after having a baby. Babies require around-the-clock care, so its normal for mothers to feel tired or overwhelmed sometimes. If mood changes and feelings of anxiety or unhappiness are severe, or if they last longer than 2 weeks, a woman may have postpartum depression. Women with postpartum depression generally will not feel better unless they receive treatment.
How To Prepare If Youve Had Depression Issues In The Past
If youve had depressive symptoms during previous pregnancies, you might be scared of becoming pregnant again.
But if you do want another child, there are ways to prepare for your next pregnancy. Think of it this way: Because youve experienced PND before, you know the signs, and youll be able to act sooner to look after your mental health. Being on the lookout for signs of perinatal depression and treating it early can reduce symptoms and improve outcomes.
Symptoms of perinatal depression can vary from mild to severe. Mild symptoms may be easily overlooked if they overlap with normal symptoms of pregnancy. This makes it even more important to communicate with your provider about how youre feeling.
If youre experiencing any of the following, speak to someone who can help.
Thoughts of self-harm or harming others
Know that perinatal depression is a short-lived and treatable condition.
If not treated, these symptoms can affect the health and quality of life of you and your infant. Perinatal depression can create problems with bonding with your baby, feeding your baby, and your babys growth, so getting the right treatment is important for both of you.
If you need help, talk to your obstetrician or another obstetric care provider. Theyll support your emotional well-being throughout your pregnancy care and refer you to other specialists as needed.
If youre in crisis, call 911 for immediate help, or contact:
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Antepartum Depression
Depression during pregnancy can have the same symptoms that define major depression in the general population. These can include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless, or guilty
- Frequently feeling irritated, anxious, frustrated, or angry
However, its important to note that a number of symptoms of major depression are similar to the changes that many pregnant women typically experience:
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Changes in appetite and eating habits
This overlap can make it very difficult to identify pregnant women who need help.
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Can Ppd Affect Your Baby
Yes. PPD can make it hard for you to care for yourself and your baby. This is why its important to treat PPD as soon as possible. If PPD is untreated:
- You may skip your postpartum checkups and not follow instructions from your health care provider.
- You may find it hard to bond with your baby.
- Your baby may not breastfeed long. PPD may make it hard for you and your baby to get used to breastfeeding. Breast milk is the best food for your baby through the first year of life.
- Your baby may not get medical care he needs. PPD may make it hard for you to take care of your baby if shes sick. You may not see health problems in your baby that need quick attention and care. It may be hard for you to get your baby regular well-baby care, like vaccinations. Vaccinations help protect your baby from harmful infections.
- Your baby may have learning, behavior and development problems and mental health conditions later in life.
Getting treatment for PPD can help you feel better and be able to care for your baby. If you think you have PPD, tell your provider.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
How Can You And Your Partner Cope With Ppd If It Happens Again
Postpartum depression can take a toll on both of you. Sometimes just the thought of you having another bout of PPD can be as scary for your partner as it is for you.
Having a line of open communication is so important. Talk to your partner about your fears and listen to theirs. Together youll better understand each others worries. Make a plan to move forward, whether that involves waiting until your firstborn is a little older or trying right away.
Your partner needs people to lean on, too. Research support groups in your area that both of you can attend. Find ways that your partner can bond with the baby while giving you time to recover. Maybe your partner can take one of the night feedings so you can sleep, for instance.
The bottom line is that if you want another baby and you had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy, there’s a good chance you won’t have it again with your next child. But if you do, there are ways to be ready ahead of time so that you can get the help and support you need.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Depression During Pregnancy And After
For too many women, joyfully anticipated pregnancy and motherhood bring depression as an unexpected accompaniment. Children as well as mothers suffer. Depression during pregnancy may result in poor prenatal care, premature delivery, low birth weight, and, just possibly, depression in the child. Depression after childbirth can lead to child neglect, family breakdown, and suicide. A depressed mother may fail to bond emotionally with her newborn, raising the child’s risk of later cognitive delays and emotional and behavior problems. Fortunately, if the depression is detected soon enough, help is available for mother and child.