All About Alternative Expression

What Is Postpartum Depression & How Does It Affect You?

Dec 13

Depression During Pregnancy & Postpartum

Having a baby is an exciting, joyful, and frequently nervous time for most women. However, it may be extremely unpleasant and challenging for women suffering from peripartum (previously postpartum) depression. Peripartum depression is a kind of depression that occurs after or after delivery. The phrase "peripartum depression" refers to the fact that depression connected with having a baby frequently develops during pregnancy.

Postpartum depression is a dangerous but manageable medical condition characterized by emotions of profound sorrow, apathy, or worry, as well as changes in energy, sleep, and appetite. It poses a threat to both the mother and the kid.


Peripartum Depression Affects One Out Of Every Seven Women

Women are more susceptible during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Biological, emotional, economical, and social changes are common for mothers at this period. Some women are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

The "baby blues," a short-term syndrome that does not interfere with everyday activities and does not require medical treatment, affect up to 70% of all new moms. Crying for no apparent cause, irritation, restlessness, and worry are all symptoms of this emotional disorder. These symptoms linger for a week or two and usually go away without therapy.

Peripartum depression differs from the "baby blues" in that it is both emotionally and physically debilitating, and it can last months or longer. It is critical that both the mother and the kid receive therapy.

Peripartum depression, if left untreated, can have a negative impact on the mother's health and quality of life, as well as the baby's well-being, as the baby may be delivered early and with a low birth weight. Peripartum depression can lead to difficulty with connecting with the infant, as well as sleeping and feeding concerns. Children of women with peripartum depression have a higher risk of cognitive, emotional, development, and language deficiencies, as well as poor social skills, in the long run. 4 It is important to remember that gestational carriers and surrogates are also susceptible to peripartum depression.

A woman suffering from peripartum depression will generally have many of these symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms may vary. New moms may feel alienated, guilty, or humiliated as a result of these symptoms. Symptoms of peripartum depression must appear during pregnancy or within four weeks of birth to be diagnosed.

Many women who suffer from peripartum depression also have anxiety symptoms. According to one research, over two-thirds of women suffering from peripartum depression also suffer from anxiety. 

Peripartum depression is a genuine condition that should be addressed seriously, even if there is no precise diagnostic test for it. Any pregnant woman or new mother who is experiencing peripartum depression symptoms should consult a doctor, such as an internal medicine doctor or an OB-GYN, who can refer her to a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist. A psychological evaluation as well as a medical examination should be performed to rule out physical issues that may present with symptoms comparable to depression (such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies).


If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.

  • For more than two weeks, you've been suffering some of the symptoms listed above
  • You're thinking of killing yourself or injuring your child
  • Your depression is becoming more severe
  • You're having difficulty doing daily duties or caring for your child



Many women suffer in silence, viewing their difficulties as a natural aspect of pregnancy and delivery and failing to seek help. Depression treatment is critical throughout pregnancy. Women and their newborns can benefit from increased knowledge and understanding.

Peripartum depression, like other kinds of depression, can be treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication, lifestyle modifications, and a supportive environment, or a combination of these treatments. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctors about the dangers and advantages of medication. The risk of birth abnormalities to an unborn child is generally modest. The choice should be based on a comprehensive analysis of the possible risk-benefit ratio of therapy vs. no treatment for the mother's, unborn child's, and/or nursing newborn/health.

When the depression or anxiety is moderate, APA guidelines for treating women with major depressive disorder who are pregnant or nursing advocate psychotherapy without medication as a first-line treatment. Antidepressant medication should be regarded as a first therapy for women suffering from mild to severe depression or anxiety.