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Baby Blues (Postpartum Depression)

About Disease:

Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common problem related post new born. PPD is usually characterized by depression which is experienced by woman within four weeks post birth. This disorder can affect as many as 10% of fathers as well. Biological, psychological, and social factors play vital roles in disposing women to evolve this depression. There is no specific test for testing PPD.

Chances of developing Postpartum Depression in a woman are more likely if she has:

  • A pre-history of suffering from depression, including depression in pregnancy
  • A marriage full of ups and down
  • In case patient has very few supportive family members or friends
  • A recent heavy stress can cause depression
  • Its difficulty caring for parents towards the new infant, if the child is suffering from some severe medical issues.

Causes of Baby Blues (Postpartum Depression):

  • Equal with number of other mental health circumstances, there is possibility of genetic vulnerability in evolving postpartum depression.
  • Quick advancement in the levels of reproductive hormones which takes place post-delivery is thought to be a biological issue in the development of this disorder.
  • Also, the stress innate in caring for a newborn is an exceptional factor.
  • More risk factors for evolving this disorder include marital problems like, low self-esteem, and a lack of having social support before and post birth of the child.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:

A woman suffering with this disease can have any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling depressed and low, with tearfulness or crying feelings.
  • Feeling anxious, along with infatuation and obligations, simply about the baby's wellbeing or about carrying out responsibilities as being a mother.
  • Feeling helpless, futile or culpable
  • Feeling annoyed or burdened
  • Falling interest or pleasure in all the activities, involving pleasure of being a mother
  • Changes in regular eating practice like, either overeating or not eating enough
  • Issues in practicing appropriate sleep; for example, difficulty falling asleep or waking quite early
  • Appearing curtailed or disturbed
  • Severe tiredness beyond the usual lethargy caused due to caring for a newborn
  • Weak absorption or hesitation.
  • Constituting thoughts relating to death, including suicide
  • The patient may have lot of difficulty in caring for the baby

These symptoms may evolve in the first days of the new born or as long as three months post its birth.

Serious form of this disease symptoms may include:

  • Delusions which are like false beliefs
  • Hallucinations like, hearing voices or seeing things which are probably unreal
  • Thoughts of harming the new born in kinds of ways
  • Very serious depressive symptoms

How is Disease Diagnosed?

There is no one test that assures indicates that someone is suffering from PPD. Hence, health care professionals analyze this disorder by associating broad medical, family, and mental health history. This is not limited to, the person's gender, sexual orientation, cultural, religious, ethnic background, and socioeconomic status. Health care efficiency may either work as physical examination or request that individual's basic care doctor perform one.

The disorder must be differentiated from commonly called "baby blues," which leads to happen in most of new mothers. In contrast with the symptoms of PPD, the symptoms of the baby blues leads to highest around the fourth day after delivery, in relation with 10th day after giving birth and do not affect the parent's ability to perform.

Expected Duration:

Generally, symptoms of postpartum depression last for just a few weeks pre diagnosis of the condition. Without treatment this symptoms can last long for several months. With getting appropriate treatment, many women feel better within few weeks.

Treatment:

Preventive Treatment – In case you are pregnant, you may be able to reduce risk of suffering from the disorder by fitting yourself before the birth for advancement in lifestyle that motherhood will get into. Talking to mothers and consulting your doctor in very practical way, day-to-day talks relating to likely care for infants. Don't underestimate time which one may need with your newborn.

Medical Treatment – A number of psychotherapy techniques are useful relying on the nature of the stress, the reason of depression and personal choices. Every woman with this disorder will need support as well as knowledge about depression. Various types of psychological therapy are available like:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is formed to check and to help correct faulty, self-critical thought arrangements.
  • Psychodynamic, insight-oriented or interpersonal psychotherapy which can help a person array out battles in critical affairs or explore former events or issues which may have devoted to the symptoms.
  • Couples therapy can benefit mother as well as father in figuring out the management in possible areas of disagreement and best to organize child care and muster support.

The depression can be treated with antidepressants listed below.

Generic Name

Brand Name

Fluoxetine

Prozac

Sertraline

Zoloft

Paroxetine

Paxil

Fluvoxamine

Luvox

Citalopram

Celexa

Escitalopram

Lexapro

Some SNRIs and NDRs are listed below:

Generic Name

Brand Name

Bupropion

Wellbutrin

Mirtazapine

Remeron

Venlafaxine

Effexor

Duloxetine

Cymbalta

Desvenlafaxine

Pristiq

TCAs are sometimes preferably suggested in major cases of depression or when SSRIs or SNRIs don't work on a patient. These medications afflicts many brain chemicals like neurotransmitters. Other examples include:

Generic Name

Brand Name

Amitriptyline

Elavil

Clomipramine

Anafranil

Desipramine

Norpramin

Doxepin

Adapin

Imipramine

Tofranil

Nortriptyline

Pamelor

A general neuroleptic medications are usually suggested in addition to a mood-stabilizer medication in people suffering from Baby Blues. Examples of such neuroleptics medications include:

Generic Name

Brand Name

Aripiprazole

Abilify

Olanzapine

Zyprexa

Paliperidone

Invega

Quetiapine

Seroquel

Risperidone

Risperdal

Ziprasidone

Geodon

Asenapine

Saphris

Iloperidone

Fanapt

Non-neuroleptic mood-stabilizer medications are also recommended with combination of neuroleptic medication so as to treat people with postpartum psychosis. As bipolar disorder may be bother patients, examples of non-neuroleptic mood stabilizers medications include:

Generic Name

Brand Name

Lithium

Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Citrate

Divalproex Sodium

Depakote

Carbamazepine

Tegretol

Lamotrigine

Lamictal

Prognosis:

Most mothers with this disease recover completely with time. This is especially essential when the illness is found and treated at early stage. About 50% of women suffering from this disease evolve illness again in future pregnancies. To reduce the risk, some doctors suggest that women with a history such disease should begin antidepressants as soon as possible post the baby is delivered, before the onset of observing depression symptoms.