Learning About Postpartum Depression

depression

At Wasatch Midwifery, our midwife services include significant postpartum care. Whether your birth takes place at our birth center or in another location, our midwives offer several personalized postpartum visits, well-mother and well-baby care, lab testing, lactation and emotional support.

This last element is particularly important for mothers who experience postpartum depression, a potentially devastating mood disorder that takes place the first twelve months following childbirth. Postpartum Depression (PPD) can affect not only the mother but also the entire family. Let’s look at what you need to know about PPD.

Common Timelines

Postpartum Depression can occur at any time during the first year after giving birth, but it is most commonly reported during the first three months. In many cases, symptoms will last until the mothers seek proper treatment.

Affects Everyone

While most PPD research and awareness has rightly focused on the mother, researchers have begun to recognize that fathers can be victims as well. Up to 9% of fathers undergo postpartum at six weeks, and 5% after six months. PPD even impacts newborns, older children, as well as extended families.

Causes and Similar Conditions

There is no exact determined cause of PPD. Research indicates it could be a combination of multiple factors. These include hormone fluctuations following birth, stress, lack of sleep and breastfeeding difficulties. Many doctors or patients confuse PPD  the “Baby Blues”, which 80 to 85 percent of women experience after birth. Symptoms of Baby Blues are brief and mild, but they usually will stop within a couple weeks. Women may cry and could be irritable at times, but they are still able to function on a daily basis.

PPD symptoms are debilitating. They can include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis.  Women with PPD need to seek professional help.

Treatment

When symptoms of PPD are mild or moderate, cognitive therapy might be beneficial. Omega-3 supplementation has also produced good results. Breastfeeding can also be a great cure for depression, as it can help moderate mood swings. Some other women find success with various infused drinks, but we always recommend professional counseling.

For more on postpartum depression, or to learn about any of our midwife or doula services, speak to the caregivers at Wasatch Midwifery today.