What is postpartum depression?

Qu'est-ce que la dépression post-partum ?

The postpartum depressionPostpartum depression is a condition that occurs 2 to 8 weeks after delivery and can last 6 months to a year.

Unlike the baby blueswhich affects a large number of women, postpartum depression is an illness that occurs in 10% to 15% of women who have given birth in France, and which will develop more severely over time and require specific treatment. Postpartum depression can also develop in the continuity of a baby blues.

Women who have already suffered from depression or strong anxiety have an increased risk of developing postpartum depression, although it can affect any mother.

In addition, women often find it difficult to seek help and tend to isolate themselves because they feel guilty for feeling this way when they thought they would be happy with the birth of their baby, especially if the baby was wanted. They feel like bad mothers. Sometimes they also blame it on fatigue. Many of them suffer from this pathology without having spoken to the medical profession.

However, it is important to identify this condition so that it can be treated as soon as possible and early interactions with the baby can be established under good conditions.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

The symptoms of postpartum depression are well known and numerous. They are often similar to any other depression, except that they are more associated with the baby. They can be:

  • Intense and lasting sadness
  • Feeling of ineffectiveness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Intense and constant fatigue
  • Sleep disorders and severe insomnia
  • Psychomotor slowdown (difficulty thinking and concentrating, decreased alertness, memory lapses, difficulty following or participating in a conversation, difficulty acting...)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Permanent desire to cry
  • Psychic exhaustion
  • Lack of joy
  • Isolation
  • Altered perception of self and others
  • Feeling of incompetence, failure, powerlessness and inadequacy
  • Sense of discouragement
  • Guilt
  • Fear of hurting the baby
  • Anxiety
  • Little/excessive interest in self or baby
  • Major mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts

To be able to talk about postpartum depression, at least two symptoms must be felt by the woman and these must be permanent in the long term, impacting her daily life after the birth of the baby. This is why it is called an illness.

What are the causes of postpartum depression?

Several factors could be at the origin of the occurrence of a postpartum depression. In particular:

  • Psychological factors: a stress can be born following a childbirth by what represents the birth of a child and/or the fact of becoming a mother
  • Hormonal changes: throughout pregnancy, hormones "play" with a woman's body. After the birth, the body undergoes another hormonal change that could promote this mood disorder
  • The feeling of an "empty stomach" after giving birth
  • Difficult psychological conditions: loneliness, marital conflicts, insufficient or inadequate marital support, lack of family and social support
  • Psychological and physical exhaustion
  • Family history of postpartum depression
  • Personal history of depression
  • A difficult delivery
  • Health problems
  • Difficulty breastfeeding,...

In any case, if you feel bad after your delivery or if you want to talk about it, do not hesitate to find a health professional! We will do everything in our power to accompany you and to pass this stage gently with our pretty menstrual panties!

Take heart, you're a Warrior!!!

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