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Question and Answers about Post Pregnancy Depression and Baby Blues with Dr. Priyanka,

22 Aug 2015

1. How common is depression during and after pregnancy

Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. More than 15 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression. And the number is reported to be higher. So if you are depressed it is okay...


2.How do I know if I have depression?

When you are pregnant or after you have a baby, you may be depressed and not know it.  If  you have any of the following symptoms of depression for more than 2 weeks, please reach out don't suffer alone :

Feeling restless or moody
Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
Crying a lot
Having no energy or motivation
Eating too little or too much
Sleeping too little or too much
Having memory problems
Feeling worthless and guilty
Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Withdrawing from friends and family
Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don't go away

3.What causes depression? What about postpartum depression?

There could be so many reasons but remember it's not your fault..

Women with a family history of depression are more likely to have depression.

Depression after childbirth is called postpartum depression which could be due to hormonal changes after delivery

Levels of thyroid hormones may also drop after giving birth. Low levels of thyroid hormones can cause symptoms of depression.
A simple blood test can tell if this condition is causing your symptoms. If so, your doctor can prescribe thyroid medicine.

4.Are some women more at risk for depression during and after pregnancy?

If you take medicine for depression, stopping your medicine when you become pregnant can cause your depression to come back. 
Do not stop any prescribed medicines without first talking to your doctor.
Not using medicine that you need may be harmful to you or your baby.

5.What are baby blues?

Many women have the baby blues in the days after childbirth. If you have the baby blues, you may:

Have mood swings
Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed
Have crying spells
Lose your  appetite
Have trouble sleeping

The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week.
The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.

6.What should I do if I have symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy?

Call your doctor if:

Your baby blues don't go away after 2 weeks
Symptoms of depression get more and more intense
Symptoms of depression begin any time after delivery, even many months later
You cannot care for yourself or your baby
You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Some women don't tell anyone about their symptoms. They feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy.

Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby.
It doesn't mean you are a bad mom.

Some tips to help you

Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
Don't try to do too much or try to be perfect.
Ask your partner, family, and friends for help.
Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner.
Talk with other mothers so you can learn from their experiences.

7.How is depression treated?

The two common types of treatment for depression are:

Talk therapy. This involves talking to a therapist or psychologist to learn to change how depression makes you think, feel, and act.
Medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant medicine. 

8.What can happen if depression is not treated?

postpartum depression in a mother can affect her baby. It can cause the baby to have:

Delays in language development
Problems with mother-child bonding
Behavior problems

All children deserve the chance to have a healthy mom. 
And all moms deserve the chance to enjoy their life and their children.
If you are feeling depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby, don't suffer alone. 
Please tell a loved one and call your doctor right away.

You can take free assessment for whether you could be facing depression, anxiety or stress in this phase here

Tags: #postpartum #issues #intricacies