A Common Problem Among New Mothers: Postpartum Depression (PPD)

BY: Laura Pinzón | Neighbors’ Consejo|

Being a mother is a dream for many women who want to bring a new life to the world. However, there are many physical and psychological changes that women undergo during and after pregnancy, and while the physical can be rather easily detected, the psychological is not. For example, what happens when a mother’s emotional well-being is affected by postpartum depression (PPD)?

Postpartum depression (PPD) usually occurs, as the name implies, after about 4 weeks of giving birth. This happens for two reasons: chemically, during pregnancy the woman increases up to 10 times her normal levels of progesterone and estrogens. After giving birth, these hormones return to normal quickly, and along with facing the new responsibility for a newborn, these changes can cause severe depression.[1] 

This is a common problem that, according to The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services[2] ’ Office of Women’s Health, affects 1 in 9 women in the United States. It’s likely to affect those who have a personal history of depression or bipolar disorder, had problems with a previous pregnancy or birth, have relationship or money problems, have a baby with special needs, or are younger than 20.

This problem can be treated with therapy from professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists, and with prescribed medication. However, it is important that new moms pay attention to the symptoms mentioned by the Mayo Clinic: Excessive crying, difficulty bonding with your baby, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, withdrawing from family and friends, among others[3] .

References

[1] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/postpartum-depression

[2] https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression

 [3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

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