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A quick guide for supporting someone with postpartum depression

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A quick guide for supporting someone with postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is the most common type of depression that occurs in females after childbirth. Furthermore, various physical and physiological changes occur in the body that can trigger postpartum depression. This article will provide clear concepts of postpartum depression. Moreover, you will also know how to help someone with postpartum depression.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a severe medical condition that occurs after the pregnancy. Females experience severe depression after giving birth to a child. Moreover, anxiety, depression, sadness, mood swings, and tiredness usually last for a longer period. However, most females don’t consider this situation seriously and leave this condition untreated. Although it’s a serious disorder and always needs effective treatment. Furthermore, this phase of depression normally starts after 2 to 3 days of childbirth. 

Read More: How Can Neurofeedback Treat Anxiety?

Difference between Postpartum and Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression usually occurs during and after the pregnancy stages. However, postpartum depression is a type of perinatal depression. Although, emotions and thoughts that occur during both depression types are quite natural. Primarily, several studies have reported that the ratio of perinatal depression is 20 to 40%. On the other hand, postpartum depression accounts for just 17%. Similarly, the ratio of depression is greater in the second and third trimesters. While the rate of depression is quite low in the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Difference between the PPD and Baby Blues

Both postpartum depression and baby blues are extremely different. Moreover, the duration of postpartum depression is quite long compared to baby blues. Although baby blues involves the same feelings of anger and sadness after childbirth. But in baby blues, this situation usually starts in 2 to 35 days. 


Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

  • Random crying without any apparent reason
  • Difficulty in sleep
  • Difficulty in self and childcare
  • Social isolation
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Complications in developing a bond with a baby
  • Sudden thoughts of harming yourself, your partner, and your baby
  • Increased appetite
  • Lack of concentration

Diagnosis of postpartum

Without proper consultation, it is very difficult to diagnose the postpartum depression. Professionals can better identify after the in-depth conservation with the patients. Furthermore, patients should share their symptoms and associated complications to get better treatment plans. 

Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression

Some factors can also increase the risk of developing postpartum depression such as:

  • Reduced social and moral Support
  • Difficulty in conceiving
  • Pregnancy in teenage
  • Family history of depression
  • Birth complications
  • Stressful daily activities

What are the causes of Postpartum Depression?

Some major causes of Postpartum depression include:

Hormonal Changes

Progesterone and estrogen are the major hormones that regulate the pregnancy. Normal levels of these hormones are highly essential for the health of mother and child. Additionally, the level of these hormones is specifically increased during pregnancy. However, after the pregnancy, their level suddenly drops. Allopregnanolone, a metabolite of progesterone is also decraesed . Both progesterone and this metabolite cause a reduction in irritability. This situation persisted for three days and then returned to its original condition.

Decreased level of thyroid hormones

The thyroid gland is present in the neck region and releases thyroid hormones. These hormones not only participate in metabolism but also store energy. Moreover, reduction of thyroid levels can also cause postpartum depression. 

Is postpartum depression genetic?

Additionally, genetic factors are also involved in the postpartum depression. Genes are the main hereditary units that are transferred from parent to child. You might have experienced that same family members have experienced depression. It should be noted that this is due to the genes that are transmitted among generations. 

Environmental Factors

Various environmental factors can cause postpartum depression. If the female is not getting any social support, then she can also experience PPD. Furthermore, females living in distant places or larger cities are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. They have to manage all the chores without any physical support. Therefore, mental support is also very important in regulating postpartum depression. 

Postpartum depression and breastfeeding

Different studies have different findings regarding breastfeeding and postpartum depression. Some experts believe that breastfeeding prevents postpartum depression. However, some experts think that breastfeeding can cause the PPD.

Most of the females who face difficulty in breastfeeding are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is a way for females to show their love and concern toward babies. However, if they face any complications, they feel worthless as mothers. This situation ultimately leads to the postpartum depression. 

Postpartum Psychosis

This is a severe medical condition that results in the first week of pregnancy. Symptoms are usually severe in this phase which include:

  • Extreme Paranoid situation
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Obsessive thoughts about the baby and partner

How to deal with someone with postpartum depression

Any person who is suffering from depression always wants a listener. So listen to their feelings, emotions, and thoughts. If that person is showing anger, then you should treat that person with calm behavior. Moreover, try to understand what they are feeling and going through. You have to feel secure that they are free to share anything.

Development of effective plans

To deal with the affected person, you should also make appropriate plans. Ask the mother if she needs any help. Additionally, cook delicious food and show care for your child and mother.

Provide Support

Most of the females usually make undesired decisions. In such cases, you should stand with them in their decisions. However, most of the females avoid breastfeeding during postpartum depression. If you are a husband, you can discuss and make her feel secure. Moreover, avoid their comparison with others.

Therapy for postpartum depression

Postpartum depression counseling depends on the severity. However, the most widely used treatment methods are as follows:


Psychotherapy is one of the widely used therapies to treat postpartum depression. This therapy can assist the female in dealing with the challenges and also respond accordingly. Moreover, sharing thoughts and emotions can somehow give a sense of pleasure and calmness.


Intake of antidepressants is allowed only in certain conditions. However, some physicians recommend antidepressants during breastfeeding. International FDA first approved the use of  Zulresso to treat postpartum depression. However, some strictly prohibit their use due to certain side effects during breastfeeding.

Depression Screening

Moreover, healthcare experts also share the questionnaires with the patients. By analyzing the answers to all questions, they can better identify and plan the therapies. 

Treatment of postpartum psychosis

Postpartum psychosis always requires immediate treatment procedures which include:


Some medications that are specifically used to treat postpartum psychosis are the following:

  • Lithium
  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Benzodiazepines

Electroconvulsive therapy

In this therapy, mild electric current is applied to the brain. The resulting seizures cause alterations in the brain activity which in turn lessens the effects of postpartum psychosis. Furthermore, the duration of seizures is just two to three minutes. 

Read More: Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain?

How to help someone with postpartum depression

It’s very significant for you to understand how to help a friend with postpartum depression. If your friend or loved one is suffering from postpartum depression, you should guide them to treat this condition. Moreover, to prevent severe conditions, ask them to consult with a doctor.  Additionally, boosts their confidence to speak everything in front of the health care experts. 

Concluding Remarks

Postpartum depression is one of the serious depression types that occurs after childbirth. Different factors including genetic, and environmental factors as hormonal changes. Moreover, effective treatment, care, and therapies are required to treat postpartum depression. If you are striving for peripartum mental health, the Brainpower Wellness Institute is ideal for you. You will also know how to help someone with postpartum depression. Share your complications and get the finest solutions. You will ultimately know how you can deal with someone with postpartum depression.

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