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What is postpartum depression?

New mothers who hold their babies after waiting for a long time may go through a process of change by experiencing different emotional experiences after birth. These emotional changes may be caused by reasons such as an increased sense of responsibility, the burden of the mother’s role, concern for the baby’s health, and longing for the old physical appearance.

These reasons can lead mothers to intense emotional turmoil and even depressive feelings. These difficulties, called the postpartum period, are part of the pregnancy and birth processes; However, it is very important to learn to cope with this process.

Definition of Postpartum Syndrome

It is very common for mothers to experience emotional fluctuations after birth. Emotions such as happiness, excitement, concerns about baby care, fear, postpartum stress, and longing for the old life can affect every woman in different ways and lead to depression-like feelings. This condition is called postpartum syndrome.

A few weeks after birth, mothers feel inadequate, experience hopelessness, have crying spells, sudden mood changes, insomnia or hypersomnia, appetite changes, weight loss or gain, anger management difficulties, withdrawal from close relationships, difficulties in bonding with the baby, A condition that shows symptoms such as fatigue and lack of energy is called postpartum depression. This condition is a serious type of depression and occurs in approximately 10-15% of women who have given birth.

Symptoms of Postpartum Syndrome

Postpartum depression (PPD) can often be confused with postpartum blues. However, PPD may start later and last longer, and symptoms may be more intense. Therefore, it is important to correctly distinguish the symptoms of postpartum depression. It is important to start treatment quickly to relieve these symptoms.

Symptoms of PPD may include:

  • depressed mood
  • feeling inadequate
  • Despair
  • Severe crying spells
  • Sudden and intense mood changes
  • Insomnia or excessive desire to sleep
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Anger management difficulties
  • extreme irritability
  • Distancing from social environment and loved ones
  • Difficulty bonding with the baby
  • Constant fatigue and exhaustion
  • Anxiety, worry and panic attacks
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • low energy
  • feeling of guilt
  • suicidal thoughts

If mothers experience several of these symptoms and have difficulty maintaining daily functions, they may be showing signs of postpartum depression.

Causes of Postpartum Syndrome New mothers may wonder about the causes of postpartum syndrome. This situation usually does not occur due to a single reason. Cultural, economic, psychological and biological factors all play an influential role in the development of depression.

Causes of postpartum may be:

  • unexpected pregnancy
  • unwanted pregnancy
  • Hormonal changes (especially fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels)
  • A risky pregnancy experience
  • increased sense of responsibility
  • Fluctuations in thyroid hormone
  • environmental pressure
  • Lack of spouse or family support
  • Negatively evaluate their own physical appearance
  • Neglecting personal needs as a result of focusing on the baby
  • Lack of personal time
  • identity crisis
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling of loneliness and helplessness

Treating Postpartum Depression

It is important to begin treatment of postpartum depression quickly. The sooner symptoms are noticed and the sooner the problem is recognized, the more likely it is to begin treatment. Otherwise, this may take months or even a year. Untreated postpartum depression can lead to more serious psychological problems over time.

Treatment varies depending on individual needs. Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy (talking therapy) are among the treatment approaches. In some cases, both methods can be used together. Methods to be applied according to doctor’s recommendations can support the treatment process.

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