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About 20% of mothers are affected by Postpartum Depression anytime within the first 12 months following delivery. Anxiety, depression, and other forms of maternal mental health disorders result from changes in psychology, biology, hormones and environment. However, there are more cases of maternal depression and anxiety than other childbirth complications.

Irrespective of race, age, education, income, and/or marital status, Postpartum Depression is a condition that can affect any new mother. You are not to blame.  You can get help to feel better. Mental health disorders during and after pregnancy can be treated.  Counseling, self-help groups, social support, and psychotropic medication (when required) can each be helpful in the right circumstances.

The Baby Blues – Postpartum Depression Symptoms

About 80% of women will go through the “baby blues,” including confusion, sadness, and even crying outbursts following childbirth or before childbirth, but the baby blues do not last long as this experience will normally stop within two weeks without any treatment. Postpartum Depression, on the other hand, is a disorder which people don’t recognize most of the time, but it is very different from the baby blues.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms and Pregnancy

Clinical depression often occurs in about 20% of women during pregnancy or postpartum. The following symptoms are indications of depression:

  • Fear of harming herself or her baby
  • Fear staying alone
  • Feeling “out of control”
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feelings of sadness, overwhelmed or hopeless
  • Finding it hard to sleep
  • Have difficulty focusing or making decisions
  • Have trouble handling daily tasks
  • Isolation
  • Anger or irritability
  • Regrets about having a baby
  • Thinking the family might be better off without her

Causes of Postpartum Depression

We do not fully understand what the causes are of Postpartum Depression. However, Postpartum Depression may result from variation in hormone levels post pregnancy.

Here is a list of predisposing factors for Postpartum Depression symptoms:

  • At one time in the past, you have experienced major depression, Postpartum Depression symptoms, or other mood disorders. These conditions might have been treated. Or you may have the symptoms, but not did not receive treatment.
  • Some people have had depression in your family
  • You have recently experienced some stressful life events.

The following are examples of life events that others have found stressful:

Difficulty during pregnancy or childbirth or you delivered your baby having a health challenge.

Loss of a loved one

Illness in you or a loved one

Issues with your partner, which can include being abused by your partner

Lack of adequate support from friends or family

Financial challenges

An unwanted pregnancy

Having difficulty in adjusting to live as a mom

Drinking alcohol, Smoking, or using hard drugs

Postpartum Depression can also result from negative feelings and thoughts about becoming a mom. It is often overwhelming when new moms think of their new status and all the changes that it entails.

Doubting your competence as a good mom

Worry too much about being a perfect mom

Feel that you have lost your old self after giving birth to your baby

Worried about being less attractive after childbirth

Hardly having enough time for yourself

Aren’t resting properly or getting good sleep

In some cases, postpartum depression may cause women to experience suicidal ideation or obsessive thoughts which may cause them to attempt murder (kill the child) or suicide (themselves), but in most of such cases, they don’t open up unless they are asked directly. If this condition is not treated, there is a high risk of poor bonding between infant and mom due to maternal depression.  Maternal depression has been associated with developmental delays in children, including slow growth, developmental delays and even increased risk for depression and anxiety in the newborn later in life.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from postpartum depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  We recognize that  women and men experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.