Postpartum Depression Symptoms and Treatment Options

You may think that giving birth to a baby must be one of the most beautiful and happy events in any woman's life -- and you are right to think so! But giving birth to a baby can also bring all kinds of powerful emotions. Most women experience the so called "baby blues" -- a mild condition that includes mood swings and crying spells and usually fades in a few hours or a couple of days at most. But some women also experience something more intense, regarded as postpartum depression.

PDD, postnatal or postpartum depression is one form of clinical depression that mostly affects women after childbirth. The depressive episode usually starts after giving birth and would last for several months to a year. The symptoms for postpartum depression include:

• Fatigue
• Sadness
• Changes in eating patterns
• Changes in sleeping patterns
• Crying episodes
• Irritability
• Anxiety
• Reduced libido

It was assumed before that this form of depression is due to a lack of vitamins. But recent studies mention that it is due to the significant changes in the hormones of women during pregnancy, along with sleep deprivation after birth. That's why mothers of babies with severe colic or other conditions that disrupt normal sleeping patterns are more prone to developing PPD. Then again, these findings are still yet to be proven because even with hormonal treatment, there were still women who were not spared of postpartum depression episodes. It is through counseling and support groups that they actually recovered.

One alarming reason why women with postpartum depression should find immediate treatment is due to the fact that their depressive state generally affects their relationship with their newborn. They become inconsistent with childcare.

To help mothers cope with the condition, there are four kinds of coping methods developed. The most common of the four is known as avoidance coping which deals with behavioral and denial disengagement subgroups. Then again, by identifying the cause of postpartum depression, doctors can then provide treatment options that are aimed on mitigating its root cause. Some of the methods for treatment include:

• Support groups
• Medical evaluation (for ruling out physiological problems)
• Psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy
• A healthy diet
• Home visits or home visitors
• Healthy or consistent sleep patterns

To ensure the appropriate treatment plan, it is important to seek professional advice from an experienced medical healthcare provider. Just the same, it is important to treat women with postpartum depression seriously; otherwise, she will not respond or even consider going through with the treatment.

It is very important to understand that PPD is not character flaw -- it is a complication that needs to be treated so you can enjoy one of the most rewarding moments of you life: taking care of your new baby.

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