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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Postpartum depression and Post partum Psychosis.

Postpartum depression and Post partum Psychosis.

You might just have a baby, but you might be not so excited about it even though it is considered the most normally. There are few facts about the mood disturbances most mothers face post delivery. 80% of women have these and fade away on their own within 4 weeks. It usually peaks up at 3 to 4 days post delivery. Post partum depression may carry on even after this time frame for 10 to 15% of women. So what to do.

Postpartum depression


Signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth vary depending on the type of depression.

Baby blues:

Signs and symptoms of the baby blues — which last only a few days or weeks — may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Crying
  • Decreased concentration
  • Trouble sleeping

Postpartum depression:

Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Severe mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with the baby
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby

Postpartum psychosis:

With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first two weeks after delivery — the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis may include:


  • Physical changes: After child birth, a dramatic drop in estrogen and progesterone contribute to postpartum depression.
  • Emotional factors: Trouble in handling minor problems. Anxious about your ability to care for a new born.
  • Lifestyle influences: Many lifestyle factors can lead to postpartum depression including a demanding baby or older siblings, difficulty in breast-feeding, exhaustion, financial problems and lack of support from your partner or other loved ones.

Risk factors:

Postpartum depression can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. The risk increases if:

  • You have a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times
  • You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
  • You've experienced stressful events during the past year, including illness, job loss or pregnancy complications
  • You're experiencing marital conflict
  • You have a weak support system
  • The pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted

How to treat the post partum problems

Baby blues:

The baby blues usually fade on their own within a few days to weeks. In the meantime, get as much rest as you can. Accept help from family and friends. Connect with other new moms. Avoid alcohol, which can make mood swings worse. If you have an underactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe thyroid medication.

Treatment of Postpartum depression:

It is often treated with counseling and medication.

  • Antidepressants: They are proven treatment for postpartum depression.
  • Hormone therapy: Estrogen replacement may help to counter act the rapid drop in estrogen that accompanies child birth which eases the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Postpartum psychosis:

Postpartum psychosis requires immediate treatment, often in the hospital.

When your safety is assured, a combination of medications — such as antidepressants, antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers — may be used to control your signs and symptoms. Sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recommended as well. During ECT, a small amount of electrical current is applied to your brain to produce brain waves similar to those that occur during a seizure. The chemical changes triggered by the electrical currents can reduce the symptoms of depression, especially when other treatments have failed or when you need immediate results.