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Here are the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can happen to first-time moms and here are the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment that soon-to-be mothers should know.

This condition, on a lighter note, is called Baby Blues. First-time moms typically experience mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Usually, Baby Blues occur during the first two to three days after giving birth. However, when symptoms became more intense, this leads to Postpartum Depression.

postpartum depression
Photo courtesy of PBS

Here are the symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Restlessness
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

These symptoms sometimes manifest earlier than expected or during pregnancy. A first-time mom could experience the symptoms within the first few weeks after giving birth and could last until a year after delivery.

For the diagnosis and treatment, the article stated these:

Doctors usually talk to patients with symptoms of Postpartum Depression about their thoughts, feelings, and mental health. This is intended to know the patients’ condition if they are having baby blues or if the case is already reached depression. Patients should not be ashamed because this is common and they should openly share to their doctor what they feel for a more accurate diagnosis.

The doctor would do these as part of the evaluation:

  • depression screening and filling out a questionnaire could be a part of this
  • order blood tests to determine whether an underactive thyroid is contributing to your signs and symptoms
  • other tests might be conducted, if warranted, to rule out other causes for your symptoms

For the treatment, psychotherapy and medication are two options but both can be done to a patient. In psychotherapy, it will be helpful for a patient to psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. With this, the patient can find better ways to cope with her emotions. In addition, family or relationship therapy will also help.

In using antidepressants, be sure that it is recommended by a doctor. Take note that any medication will enter your breast milk if you are breastfeeding but most antidepressants can be taken with little risk of side-effects to the baby. It is better to discuss this matter to the doctor, according to the article.

READ ALSO: ADHD: 5 Misconceptions About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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