Postpartum Depression

4 April 2015
An in-depth study of postpartum depression and its symptoms.

Postpartum depression is depression that appears shortly before to shortly after a woman has given birth. It can have negative effects on the woman’s marriage and in fact on the entire family. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious, common, and treatable condition seen frequently in the primary care setting. This paper defines postpartum depression, discusses the causes behind it, details the range of symptoms, its diagnosis, treatment, and ways to help prevent it.
Researchers and doctors know that women develop symptoms of depression about twice as often as men. It is believed that female hormones contribute to this in some way, as mood swings have been tied to variations in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and birth, and the onset of menopause. Some experts also believe that the extra pressures in many women’s lives as they juggle both jobs and home responsibilities, single motherhood, or caring for aged parents may contribute. It’s very common for new mothers to experience mild and transient feelings of sadness, irritability or moodiness right after giving birth. When these symptoms are short-lived and not severe, they’re often referred to as the baby blues, and considered a normal variation in mood. Baby blues” pass quickly and cause no significant problem for either the new mother or her family.
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