Postpartum depression (PPD) arises after childbirth and comes in many different forms ranging from mild to severe symptoms. There is no known cause for PPD as there are many factors. Birthing experience, hormone changes, emotional stability prior to delivery versus post delivery, and lifestyle influences are all contributors (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Hormone changes play a substantial part in a mother experiencing PPD. After childbirth, there is a significant drop in hormones, more specifically estrogen and progesterone, which has been known to provoke PPD as well as be the most frequent contributor. The thyroid also produces hormones that may drop after childbirth, with the result being symptoms of depression and fatigue. Mood swings may appear because of changes in blood pressure, blood volume, immune system, and metabolism postpartum (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Physical factors for PPD include but not be limited to, sleep deprivation (Mayo Clinic, 2015), a painful recovery from an unexpected medical intervention during delivery, and a traumatic birthing experience. As a new parent, feeling sleep deprived is to be expected. However, there comes a point where sleep deprivation causes anxious behavior and breeds insecurity. This stems from not thinking clearly. As a new mother, it is normal to feel self-conscious of the extreme amount of responsibility in front of her. Sleep deprivation only amplifies this insecurity.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to relish in the new mother joys when she is in excruciating pain. Having limited mobility from a c-section or other medical intervention, or unable to hold the new baby for extended periods of time for the first six weeks can seem oppressive. Feeling physically pained and limited after childbirth is not only stifling but tremendously disappointing, as well as unforeseeable. The new mother may not feel a connection to the baby if she is focusing much of her attention on her healing process and lack of sleep.
Lifestyle influences that may play a role in PPD can be many factors, but the most common are unsupportive family members. Demands from older children and breastfeeding struggles are other variables that factor into PPD (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
There are many unfavorable emotions that a new mother experiences after childbirth. Feeling besieged with overwhelming love and fear of the future, as well as immense pressure to raise a child to be fruitful and happy are all common side effects. When these emotions evolve into depression, loss of appetite, fatigue, and a lack of caring then it is imperative for the new mother to seek help. Primary health care providers and obstetricians are both excellent platforms for discussing PPD symptoms, as they will be able to refer the mother to an appropriate counselor.
Reference- Mayo Clinic. (2015). Postpartum Depression. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/basi…