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Postpartum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that happens in some women after giving birth.  

 

Types of postpartum depression 

 1) Baby blues  

 2) postpartum  psychosis 

 3) postpartum depression.

 

1) Baby blues 

Most women especially new mom's experience postpartum "baby blues" after childbirth. Baby blues begin within the first two to three days after delivery, it is a mild case and may last up to two weeks. 

 

Baby blues symptoms 

1) Anxiety 

2) Sadness 

3) Irritability 

4) Mood swings 

5) Crying 

6) Reduced concentration  

7) Trouble Sleeping 

8) Appetite problems

 

2) postpartum psychosis  

 This is a rare condition that develops within the first week after delivery, the signs and symptoms are severe. 

 

Postpartum psychosis symptoms  

 1) Sleep disturbances ( insomnia) unable to sleep. 

2) Confusion and disorientation. 

3) Hallucinations and delusions ( Hearing or Seeing imaginary things)  4) Obsessive thoughts about your baby 

5)Attempts to harm yourself or your baby. 

Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviours that require immediate treatment.

 

3) Postpartum depression

  Postpartum depression can be mistaken for baby blues at first but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer and it may interfere with your ability to care for your baby. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth but many begin earlier during Pregnancy or later- up in a year after birth. 

 Postpartum  depression symptoms 

 

1) Depressed mood swings 

2) Excessive crying 

3) Difficulty bonding with your baby 

4) Inability to sleep ( insomnia) or sleeping too much 

5)Withdrawing from family and friends 

6) Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy 

7)Intense anger  

8)Panic attacks 

9)Fear and Loss of Concentration 

10) Feelings of guilt or inadequacy that you are a good mother.  

Postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

 

Postpartum depression in Father's

 Father's too experience postpartum depression especially new fathers who have a history of depression, relationship problems or are struggling Financially are most at risk of postpartum depression that is sometimes called paternal postpartum depression. This can hurt partner relationship and child development, symptoms include  

1) Sadness 

2) Fatigue 

3) Sleeplessness etc, the same symptoms like postpartum depression experience.

 

How to avoid postpartum depression 

  1) Sleep and eat properly 

2) Exercise  

3) Prepare yourself for childbirth 

4) Let your feelings be known in the delivery room 

5) Enlist household help during the postpartum period 

6)Find strong emotional support 

7) Attend a postpartum depression support group.

 

1) Sleep and eat properly 

Do your best to eat a nutritious diet and have sufficient sleep for your health and well being during your Pregnancy and your postpartum period.

 

2) Exercise. 

Try squeezing time to exercise even if its just 15 minutes of walking a day. It will help to elevate your mood and make you feel better.

 

3) Prepare yourself for childbirth

 Taking a childbirth education is helpful but don't stop there. Read as many books or articles on the topic, talk to other women about their experiences. You should be well informed on every possible outcome in the delivery room so there will be no surprises.

 

4)Let your feeling be known in the labour room 

 Don't be afraid to speak up and express your needs and wants in the delivery room.If you want an epidural, tell the attending physicians if you are uncomfortable, tell them.

 

5) Enlist household help during the postpartum period  

You should consider having your partner, mother, or best friend to assist you at home with the baby. Don't take the stress all by yourself. Do whatever it takes to feel supported during delivery in order to have the best possible experience.

 

6)Find strong emotional support  

Your support system should be strong to strengthen you now emotionally. It could be your partner or best friend who should be there for you to lean on when you feel frustrated, overwhelmed or plain tired. Talk to them about how you are feeling and how your life is changing.

 

7)Attend a postpartum support group  

The best support often comes from people who have been where you are and know what you are going through. Talk to your obstetrician, or other moms and find out where your local postpartum depression group meets.

 

Treatment for postpartum depression 

 If you have symptoms of postpartum depression, you should see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can get started on treatment

 There are two types of treatment for postpartum depression which are 

1) Medication 

2) Therapy 

 

Medication 

Antidepressants have a direct effect on the brain. They won't work right away but it is used to alter the chemicals that regulate mood, it can take weeks of taking medication before you notice a difference in your mood. Some people have side effects while taking antidepressants. These may include fatigue, decreased sex drive, and dizziness. Alcohol is a depressant,  so you should steer clear of it. Instead give your body every opportunity to heal, if side effects of antidepressants seem to be making your symptoms worse, tell your doctor right away and give your body every opportunity to heal. If your estrogen levels are low, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy. 

 

 

Therapy  

A psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professionals can provide counselling. Therapy can help you make sense of destructive thoughts and other strategies for working through t