Managing Postpartum Depression
Mon, April 19, 2021

Managing Postpartum Depression

If you are concerned that negative feelings are affecting your well-being post-childbirth even more, it is best to consult a health expert right away in order to find interventions that can alleviate your condition / Photo by: Antonio Guillem via 123RF

 

Finally, after about nine months, pregnancy comes to a blissful end with the birth of the baby. However, all may not be well yet. While it is, fortunately, the case for most women that childbirth and the first few weeks after prove to be a breeze, there are some who experience a new set of difficulties during this period. 

In the first few weeks of caring for a newborn, moms, especially those who are experiencing it for the first time, can feel anxious, sad, frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed. These feelings are commonly referred to as “baby blues” although they will get better after weeks of recovery. However, there are other women who experience much stronger symptoms that hinder them from getting better sooner. 

These negative feelings will not go away even after two weeks or more, and they soon develop into postpartum depression that makes it harder for women to take care of their baby. If you are concerned that negative feelings are affecting your well-being post-childbirth even more, it is best to consult a health expert right away in order to find interventions that can alleviate your condition. 

You Are Not Alone

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common medical complication that comes after pregnancy. America’s Health Ranking, a website that provides a wide variety of health and health-related information to help policymakers, advocates, and individuals understand a population’s health in a holistic, inclusive manner, said that this condition is also associated with adverse outcomes that can happen to both mother and child. 

It also mentioned that postpartum depressive symptoms happen in an estimated one in nine women. According to the data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) for the period 2004-2005, the prevalence of self-reported PPD in 17 American states rose from 11.7% to 20.4% of the total number of women who gave birth. 

Additionally, it was also indicated in the report that younger women and those who achieved lower educational attainment were more likely to report the condition. The researchers considered the demographics of their subjects, which included the age of women at delivery, race/ethnicity, education, and marital status.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common medical complication that comes after pregnancy / Photo by: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123RF


Risk Factors Associated With Postpartum Depression

In their study, the researchers also pointed out that there are several risk factors as to why mothers experience postpartum depression. This includes tobacco usage with a median difference of 10.7 in 16 states, physical abuse before or after pregnancy with a median difference of 16.4 in 17 states, financial stress during pregnancy that mothers from 17 states experienced with a median difference of 9.2. 

Meanwhile, it was discovered that in 14 American states, PPD was significantly associated with a low birth weight in infants. The state median percentage point difference in postpartum depressive syndrome prevalence was 5.7 by low birth weight delivery, 5.2 by emotional stress, and 6.2 by NICU admission. 

Aside from that, there are other factors that can cause postpartum depression. The most significant is if the mother has a history of postpartum depression because the prior episode can increase the chances of having a repeat episode from 30% to 50%. It also matters if the family has a history of depression or other mood problems, and social stressors like lack of emotional support can also pose a problem for the pregnant woman.

Managing Postpartum Depressive Symptoms

With all the data mentioned, it is alarming to note that after a dangerous medical procedure, mothers are still faced with a condition that can affect them for a long time. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that everyone else can do to help the mothers conquer their fears, anxieties, and frustrations. 

America’s Health Rankings suggested that prevention of postpartum depression can be done just by offering the mother a simple yet effective support system that will focus on her psychological well-being following childbirth. This can mean friends and families having routine home visits and the new mother having interpersonal psychotherapy. 

It is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that healthcare providers must screen patients for depression at least once during pregnancy or in the year following delivery. The organization also mentioned that new mothers must have a follow-up checkup that includes looking at their behavioral health resources especially for those with a positive screen. This monitoring system has been found to be cost-effective in making sure that the quality of life of the affected individuals is secured.  

For women who are seeking treatment for their postpartum depressive symptoms, they can also try prescription medication and counseling. Even though depression is a treatable disorder, 66% of past-year depression went undiagnosed. Postpartum depression and even baby blues are serious conditions that should be treated the soonest possible time. It is not just a simple mood problem that will go away, and everyone has a role to fill when it comes to the treatment and care of the patient. 

With all the data mentioned, it is alarming to note that after a dangerous medical procedure, mothers are still faced with a condition that can affect them for a long time. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that everyone else can do to help the mothers conquer their fears, anxieties, and frustrations / Photo by: Sittichai Karimpard via 123RF