Medically reviewed by
What causes PPD? Researchers believe a combination of factors may trigger it, including stress or loss, hormonal changes after giving birth, and genetics.
What are ways to deal with it? Talk to someone you trust - Your partner, a friend or family member. Don't try to go through this alone. Get professional help - This could be as simple as talking with your doctor or getting counseling with a psychologist or psychiatrist Stay social - Getting out and interacting with people will help keep your mood up and give you support.
When mothers experience postpartum depression, they may feel "flat," like they're in a fog. Their moods may be low, and they might withdraw from friends and family or stop enjoying activities that were once pleasurable. Mothers with PPD may not eat well or sleep well. They might cry often and find it difficult to enjoy their baby's cooing, which could make them feel guilty and down on themselves. PPD is a real mental health condition with many symptoms, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms after giving birth you should talk to your healthcare provider right away.
What should you do if you think you might have PPD? If you think you might have PPD, talk to your OB-GYN and your primary care doctor. Your OB-GYN can refer you to a mental health specialist. Treatment for PPD can include psychotherapy or medications to help relieve symptoms of anxiety.
What is "interpersonal therapy"? Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a psychotherapy treatment for depression. The focus of IPT is not only on identifying and treating the depression, but also on examining the underlying interpersonal problems that may be contributing to or maintaining the condition.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that deals with changing negative patterns of thoughts and behaviors. The goal is to change the behaviors that are causing depression, not just treating the symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can last anywhere from 8-20 sessions, depending on how severe the condition is.
In most cases, a person will go through both CBT and Interpersonal Therapy as a way to address different aspects of their condition - but typically people start with one type and then switch over to another as it becomes necessary.
PPD affects mothers of all backgrounds and at any stage of life. It is also more common in women who already had depression before they became pregnant. People with postpartum depression may not feel happy about their baby or want to be around their family members or friends. They may also feel guilty for feeling that way because it's natural to feel excited about being a mom, but they don't feel that way. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression after having a baby, it is important to talk to someone.
Learn more about pregnancy related topics and cord blood banking with Anja at www.anjahealth.com