Friday, September 29, 2023

Postpartum Depression

Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions, but what comes after is equally nerve-wracking. The birth of your baby can be a very emotional time in your life, and sometimes those feelings can stack up to create anxiety, or in worst cases, depression. Most new mothers experience “baby blues”, which include crying episodes, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and mood swings. These can last up to two weeks.

But some new mothers experience a more serious, severe and long-lasting episode of emotional turmoil known as postpartum depression. It is a complicated mix of physical, emotional and behavioral changes they go through after giving birth. DSM-5 categorizes it as a form of major depression that needs treatment. If you think that you have postpartum depression, or something similar, make a prompt visit to a Gynecologist in Lahore. They will recommend you to see a psychologist if the need be.


Symptoms of postpartum depression can be a bit hard to detect. Some common symptoms women have after childbirth are

  • Change in appetite
  • Severe tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep deprivation, or disturbed sleep cycle
  • Lower libido

While these symptoms are not difficult to overcome, and could just be a sign that your body is taking its time to recover and get back to its normal state, sometimes they can be coupled with extremities that need urgent attention. Some symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • Depressed mood
  • Crying for long periods of time for no particular reason
  • Anger
  • Crankiness
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in hobbies
  • Loss of interest in the baby
  • Lack of a bond with the baby
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Thoughts of self-harm, or hurting others
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and helplessness

Without proper supervision, these thoughts and feelings can escalate very quickly. You can feel like you’re unable to cope with everyday situations, and because of the precarious state you’re in, you can feel like harming yourself or your baby to get rid of those emotions. So, seek professional help if you think any of the symptoms mentioned above match the way you’re feeling.


One of the most contested causes of postpartum depression is the rapid change of hormonal levels in your body. During pregnancy, the levels of progesterone and estrogen increase tenfold. But soon after birth, they plummet. After three days, they return back to their pre-pregnancy levels. These rapid chemical changes can create an onset of a number of symptoms listed above. Similarly, the social and psychological changes associated with having a baby contribute to the risk of having postpartum depression. These changes can be:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Descending into your new role as a parent
  • Stressing about parenting
  • Changes in relationships, for example, with your spouse

Additionally, there are a quite few things that can increase your chances of having postpartum depression, such as:

  • A history of depression, prior to being pregnant, or during current or previous pregnancy
  • Mixed, complicated thoughts about the pregnancy
  • Family history of depressive disorders
  • Going through a stress-inducing event in life
  • Having twins or triplets
  • Living alone
  • Limited financial support
  • Strained relationships

In any case, it is best that you visit the best gynecologist in Islamabad to make sure you’re in the clear regarding any physical problems.


Postpartum depression is a psychological illness, and is treated in a number of ways, depending on the symptoms and severity of the patient. Some treatments are:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Anti-depressants
  • Psychotherapy
  • Participation in an emotional support group

For severe cases, the doctor can prescribe an IV medication called brexanolone. Postpartum depression can also be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy. This approach helps the doctor to examine the thought patterns of the patient. A lot of new moms can feel an excessive pressure to be the “perfect mother”. A CBT therapist can help examine those thoughts and guide the patient to think in a more realistic and healthy way. Relaxation exercises and meditating can also help new mothers to think more clearly, build realistic expectations, and have a healthier outlook on life, so that they, and their baby can grow positively.

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