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Postpartum Depression Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention


About 85% of women experience temporary depression after childbirth. This is called postpartum depression, and in most cases, people experience mild, rather than serious, depression in their daily life. It is known that the improvement is usually 2 weeks after delivery. However, postpartum depression continues after 2 weeks, and when various symptoms such as lethargy, severe anxiety, low motivation, decreased appetite, guilt, and sleep disturbance persist, it is called postpartum depression. According to the severity of symptoms, it is divided into baby blue, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychoneurism. It is reported that 10-20% of postpartum depression experiences, and 0.2-1% of postpartum psychoneurism.

It is known that the causes of postpartum depression are caused by biological factors, psychological factors, and social factors. Sudden changes in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormone immediately after childbirth, as well as parenting stress, worries and burdens about parenting, marital conflict, father-daughter conflict, life changes, fatigue after childbirth, insufficient rest, loss of self-identity It has been known that several complex factors such as these are intertwined and overlapped to influence the occurrence. Now, let’s take a closer look at the main symptoms of postpartum depression, as well as various information on treatment and prevention.

Main symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is characterized by unstable appearance and symptoms such as depression, sadness, severe emotional ups and downs, anxiety, nervousness, and poor concentration within 4 weeks of childbirth. You may also feel guilty about yourself and your baby, or you may feel a great psychological pressure and burden for parenting. In addition, other symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, loss of motivation, loss of appetite, indigestion, inability to sleep or oversleeping are also symptoms of postpartum depression.

When these symptoms of postpartum depression become more severe, negative emotions such as depression and anxiety increase, leading to mental disorders such as depression. In addition, if these symptoms of postpartum depression persist for more than 6 months, if not treated appropriately, it can lead to postpartum psychoneurism. If these symptoms of postpartum psychoneurism persist, interest in the baby will be significantly reduced, and the baby’s growth and development and the relationship between mother and baby will be adversely affected. Therefore, if symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and lethargy persist for several weeks after childbirth, it is important to visit a hospital and receive systematic counseling and treatment from a specialist.

Treatment and prevention of postpartum depression

1. Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of postpartum depression is known to be the same as the diagnostic criteria for general depression. You will be given a medical history and physical examination of your symptoms. They also check blood tests and thyroid hormone levels to see if another condition is causing the symptoms. After that, through consultation with a specialist, treatment such as psychological counseling, drug treatment, and psychiatric treatment is carried out. Drug treatment is not a recommended treatment because the period of depression after childbirth overlaps with the period of lactation, but when the symptoms are severe or chronic, treatment such as taking antidepressants may be considered. In addition, when depression is severe or the response to drug treatment is insufficient, individual psychotherapy, family therapy, or couple therapy can be performed. If symptoms continue to worsen, hospitalization is helpful.

2. Efforts to support family members and share roles

In order to alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression, the support and encouragement of the family is of the utmost importance. It is important for women with risk factors for postpartum depression to always have a conversation about changes in their relationships and roles with their family members, and to fully understand that childbirth and childrearing are not to be borne alone, but the help and emotional support of a spouse is very important. It is important to recognize, consider and encourage each other.

3. Proper Relief of Stress

It can be said that it is very important to properly relieve and manage the symptoms of postpartum depression when the stress caused by childcare and the burden and worry of childrearing are aggravated. It is important to prevent and relieve stress that occurs rapidly after childbirth by having hobbies or time for yourself. In addition, spending time and talking with people close to you is also a very important management habit to prevent postpartum depression and to prevent symptoms from worsening.

4. Balanced nutrition

It is also said that it is important to maintain a diet rich in nutrients that are beneficial to the body in order to relieve symptoms of postpartum depression and stabilize the mind and body. On the other hand, excessive drinking and caffeine intake can cause symptoms aggravation, so it should be moderated.

In addition, since excessive diet after childbirth can adversely affect mood stabilization, it is recommended to gradually lose weight after at least 2-3 months after childbirth.

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I am a contributor to Advancetec.co.uk. I am fascinated by technology overall, especially crypto and it's potential to disrupt the global financial system. But until that future comes, I am perfectly content immersing myself in gaming, movies, gadgets, and all of the other wonders of the modern world.