Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Can Postpartum Depression Start During Pregnancy

Treatment For Antenatal Depression And Postnatal Depression

Postpartum Depression after Pregnancy

There are many treatment options that can help you if youre experiencing symptoms of antenatal or postnatal depression. Your doctor will talk with you about a treatment plan that suits your personal circumstances and age, as well as the type and severity of your depression.

Here are some treatment options for antenatal and postnatal depression.

Psychological therapy Psychological treatments for antenatal and postnatal depression include cognitive behaviour therapy and interpersonal therapy . These therapies aim to help you manage feelings of depression and anxiety.

A counsellor might help you one on one, or in a group with others who are experiencing similar symptoms.

Your GP can give you a mental health care plan so you can get a Medicare rebate for up to 20 sessions with a mental health professional per year.

Medicine Doctors sometimes recommend antidepressant medicine for antenatal and postnatal depression. There are many different types of antidepressants, including some that you can safely use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

For many people, medicine used together with psychological therapy can work very well.

What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better While Seeing A Doctor For Postpartum Depression

Here are some ways to begin feeling better or getting more rest, in addition to talking to a health care professional:

  • Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
  • Dont try to do too much or to do everything by yourself. Ask your partner, family, and friends for help.
  • Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner.
  • Talk about your feelings with your partner, supportive family members, and friends.
  • Talk with other mothers so that you can learn from their experiences.
  • Join a support group. Ask your doctor or nurse about groups in your area.
  • Dont make any major life changes right after giving birth. More major life changes in addition to a new baby can cause unneeded stress. Sometimes big changes cant be avoided. When that happens, try to arrange support and help in your new situation ahead of time.

It can also help to have a partner, a friend, or another caregiver who can help take care of the baby while you are depressed. If you are feeling depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby, dont suffer alone. Tell a loved one and call your doctor right away.

Role Of Obstetricians And Pediatricians

Numerous studies have reported on the low rates of screening, diagnosis, and treatment of perinatal depression in medical settings. Clinician discomfort with psychiatric disorders, time constraints, low belief in maternal mental health having an important effect on child development, and lack of knowledge about resources are some of the barriers to clinician screening for psychiatric disorders in medical settings. However, the postpartum obstetric visit and pediatric well-baby visits are opportunities for the clinician to assess the mothers clinical status., Although women with PPD are often hesitant to divulge their mood and anxiety symptoms to their clinician because of guilt about having symptoms when motherhood is expected to be joyful, there may be indicators that further evaluation is needed. For example, PPD may lead to negative maternal perceptions of infant temperament and behavioral patterns such complaints should be addressed in the context of the infants behavior and how well the mother is coping with these difficulties. PPD has been associated with frequent nonroutine visits to the pediatrician such visits and telephone contacts may be warranted but could also be an indicator for further assessment of maternal mood and family functioning. Follow-up with the woman who is referred for treatment within the practice or to a mental health clinician reinforces the importance of treatment recommendations.

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Can Ppd Be Prevented

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that certain kinds of counseling can prevent perinatal depression for women at increased risk of depression. Counseling is when you talk about your feelings and concerns with a counselor or therapist. This person helps you understand your feelings, solve problems and cope with things in your everyday life.

The Task Force recommends counseling for women with one or more of these risk factors:

  • Current signs and symptoms of depression
  • A history of depression or other mental health condition
  • Being pregnant as a teenager or being a single mom
  • Having stressful life circumstances, like low income
  • Being a victim of IPV

The Task Force recommends two kinds of counseling to prevent PPD for women at increased risk:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy . CBT helps you manage negative thoughts by changing the way you think and act. Common kinds of CBT include working with a therapist to help you set goals and identify negative thoughts and behaviors so you can begin to think and act differently.
  • Interpersonal therapy . IPT helps you identify and deal with conditions and problems in your personal life, like relationships with your partner and family, situations at work or in your neighborhood, having a medical condition or losing a loved one. Common kinds of IPT include working with a therapist in role-playing, answering open-ended questions and looking closely at how you make decisions and communicate with others.
  • What Are The Signs Of Depression While Pregnant

    Mood disorders during pregnancy can lead to postpartum ...

    Its normal to have some degree of mood swings and severe emotions during pregnancy, especially if your pregnancy is unplanned. You are coping with the physical and mental effects of pregnancy at the same time that you are trying to determine what path you will take with your pregnancy and, if you are thinking about parenting, planning for the arrival of your little one.

    Feeling overwhelmed or stressed during this time is only to be expected. However, there are larger symptoms of depression while pregnant that should not be ignored:

    • Feeling sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, restless, moody, worthless, or guilty
    • Crying a lot
    • Experiencing a drastic change in your appetite and sleep schedule
    • Having trouble remembering things, concentrating or making decisions
    • Withdrawing from friends and family
    • Losing interest in things you usually like to do
    • Having no energy or feeling tired all of the time
    • Having headaches, stomach problems or other long-lasting aches and pains

    Some of these signs of depression while pregnant can simply be side effects of normal emotions during your pregnancy. However, if any of these symptoms last for more than two weeks, please contact your doctor right away it could be a sign that you are experiencing true antenatal depression.

    Also Check: How To Talk To Your Therapist About Depression

    What Are The Signs Of Depression

    Depression can come on slowly. The symptoms are different for everyone. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Some of the more common signs are:

    • changes in appetite, like eating too much or having little interest in food,
    • changes in sleep, such as trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
    • lack of energy,
    • feeling sad, hopeless or worthless,
    • crying for no reason, and
    • loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy.

    New moms with depression may have trouble caring for their baby. They might not want to spend time with their baby, which can lead to a baby who cries a lot.

    Cortisol Awakening Response And Maternal Depression

    In total, 6 studies investigated the CAR-perinatal depression relationship, with 3 identifying significant associations and 3 reporting non-significance. Out of these studies, only one study is considered high quality and reported a positive relationship between momentary mood and concurrent cortisol levels between 637 weeks gestation. However, it should be noted that all 3 studies indicating non-significant associations recruited healthy low-risk participants with no psychiatric disorders and measured self-reported depressive symptoms rather than major depression. In contrast, out of the research indicating significant associations, Taylor et al. and OConnor et al. focused on depressed, high-risk participants and both studies found lower cortisol levels upon waking in women with a diagnosis of depression. Based on these studies, it is suggested that major depressive disorders may be associated with a blunted cortisol response upon waking in the perinatal period. In support, OConnor et al. measured self-reported depressive symptoms and diagnosis of major depression in participants but reported a significant negative relationship only between cortisol and maternal major depression. Thus, studies focusing on the CAR suggest a negative association between major depression and cortisol and a positive association between momentary mood and concurrent cortisol levels.

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    Ppd: Diagnosis And Epidemiologic Factors

    PPD is defined strictly in the psychiatric nomenclature as a major depressive disorder with a specifier of postpartum onset within 1 month after childbirth. However, depression in women during the postpartum period may start during pregnancy or may have onset beyond the first postpartum month. To meet criteria for MDD, depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in activities must be present for at least 2 weeks. In addition, symptoms of sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, diminished concentration, and thoughts of suicide may be present. The diagnosis of PPD is challenging because of changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, and excessive fatigue being routine for women after delivery.

    The optimal time to screen for PPD is between 2 weeks and 6 months after delivery. Several self-report measures that are available to screen for PPD include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, which is a validated and widely used 10-item questionnaire. An Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score of 12 is indicative of probable PPD. The Postpartum Depression Screening Scale is another self-report screening measure that is popular with clinicians because of its construct validity and emphasis on clinical domains however, because of high false-positive rates for PPD, it has been reported to be less accurate than the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

    Is Ppd The Same As The Baby Blues

    Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know

    No. PPD lasts longer and is more serious than baby blues. Baby blues are feelings of sadness you may have after having a baby. Baby blues can happen 2 to 3 days after you give birth and can last up to 2 weeks. You may have trouble sleeping, be moody or cranky, and cry a lot. If you have sad feelings that last longer than 2 weeks, tell your provider. She can check to see if you may have PPD.

    Read Also: Is Ritalin Used For Depression

    Can You Take Antidepressant Medicine And Breastfeed Your Baby

    Treating your depression is very important for your baby. Breastfeeding is good for your baby’s health. And it’s good for your baby’s bond with you. At best, you will be able to treat your depression and breastfeed your baby. But if you decide to choose between taking medicine and breastfeeding, take the medicine.

    What Is Perinatal Depression

    Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during pregnancy and after childbirth. The word perinatal refers to the time before and after the birth of a child. Perinatal depression includes depression that begins during pregnancy and depression that begins after the baby is born . Mothers with perinatal depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that may make it difficult for them to carry out daily tasks, including caring for themselves or others.

    How is postpartum depression different from the baby blues? The baby blues is a term used to describe mild mood changes and feelings of worry, unhappiness, and exhaustion that many women sometimes experience in the first 2 weeks after having a baby. Babies require around-the-clock care, so its normal for mothers to feel tired or overwhelmed sometimes. If mood changes and feelings of anxiety or unhappiness are severe, or if they last longer than 2 weeks, a woman may have postpartum depression. Women with postpartum depression generally will not feel better unless they receive treatment.

    Recommended Reading: What Do People Do When They Are Depressed

    Treatments For Perinatal Depression

    There are various treatments that you may be offered for perinatal depression. Your doctor should discuss these options with you, so you can make a decision together about the best treatment for you:

    Talking therapy

    The talking therapies you may be offered include or interpersonal therapy . These are short-term therapies recommended to treat depression.


    This is most likely to be an antidepressant. If you have any concerns about taking medication, you can talk to your doctor or pharmacist. We also have information about taking antidepressants while pregnant or breastfeeding.

    A combination of talking therapy and medication

    Some people find that taking medication helps them feel stable enough to get the most out of a talking therapy. But other people find medication or talking therapies are more helpful on their own.

    Sometimes there may also be long waiting lists for talking therapies in your area. Your doctor may offer you an antidepressant to help you while you wait for therapy.

    Electroconvulsive therapy

    If you have very severe depression which doesn’t respond to other treatments, your doctor may suggest electroconvulsive therapy . ECT can work very quickly, so doctors may suggest that you have it shortly after giving birth. This is to help you care for and bond with your baby as soon as possible.

    ECT can be used during pregnancy, but there may be concerns about giving you anaesthetic while pregnant. You can speak to your doctor about this.

    At What Age Is Advanced Maternal Age

    Postpartum Depression Facts

    Advanced maternal age is usually defined as being 35 years or older which is believed to predispose mothers to enormous adverse outcomes during pregnancy .

    Nonetheless, for some ladies, this life-altering event produces sensations that arent quite as joyful, as well as starts a problem called postpartum depression. If you have had depression in the past, or have danger elements for depression, talk with your physician before obtaining expecting or early in your pregnancy. If the depression continues for longer than 2 weeks or is extremely severe, speak with your healthcare specialist. A lady experiencing psychosis can appear well momentarily, fooling health experts and caregivers into assuming that she has actually recuperated, but she can continue post natal depression organisations to be seriously clinically depressed and sick also after brief durations of appearing well. When a woman with severe postpartum depression comes to be suicidal, she may consider killing her infant and also little ones, not from temper, but from a need not to desert them. Postpartum depression is substantial, often called clinical depression that happens soon after having an infant. Some health specialists call it postpartum nonpsychotic depression.This problem happens in some women, generally within a couple of months of distribution.

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    Are Some Women More At Risk Of Postpartum Depression

    Yes. You may be more at risk of postpartum depression if you:3

    • Have a personal history of depression or bipolar disorder
    • Have a family history of depression or bipolar disorder
    • Do not have support from family and friends
    • Were depressed during pregnancy
    • Lose your appetite
    • Have trouble sleeping

    The baby blues usually go away in 3 to 5 days after they start. The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression usually begins within the first month after childbirth, but it can begin during pregnancy or for up to a year after birth.5

    Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor or nurse.

    What Increases Your Risk

    A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of having a certain problem. Risk factors for postpartum depression include:

    • A history of postpartum depression. This puts you at high risk of having it again.
    • Poor support from family, partner, and friends.
    • High life stress, such as a sick or colicky newborn, financial troubles, or family problems.
    • Physical limitations or problems after childbirth.
    • Depression during a current pregnancy.
    • Previous depression.
    • Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression. It also increases the risk of dangerous psychotic behaviour after childbirth.
    • A family history of depression or bipolar disorder.

    Risk factors for postpartum psychosis include:

    • A personal or family history of bipolar disorder.
    • Previous postpartum psychosis.

    Read Also: Free Treatment For Depression And Anxiety

    What Should I Do

    Tell your midwife or doctor how you feel. Some women feel very distressed or guilty at feeling low at a time when everyone expects them to be happy. Remember that healthcare professionals wont judge you. They understand that depression is a mental health condition. It is not your fault, or something that you just need to get over or move on from. They will focus on helping you find the right treatment and support so you can take care of yourself and your baby.

    If you find it difficult to talk about your thoughts and feelings, you could write down what you want to say first, or you may want to have someone with you. The important thing is to let someone know so that you can get the right help as soon as possible.

    Its important to tell the midwife or doctor if you have had depression in the past because you may be more likely to get depression in this pregnancy or after you give birth. They can then give you the best support to reduce the chances of you getting depression again.

    “I felt very tired, every time I sat down Id just doze off to sleep. I never seemed to feel that glowing period that everybody talks about.”

    Emily, mum of three.

    Do You Need More Help


    Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area. Find your local CMHA here.

    Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in hundreds of neighbourhoods across every province, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.

    Read Also: I Am Fat And Depressed

    If I Take Antidepressants During My Pregnancy Will They Hurt My Baby

    You may think you should stop taking medication for depression when you are pregnant. Remember that, if left untreated, depression can have serious effects for both you and your baby. If you are taking antidepressants and are thinking about getting pregnant , talk to your doctor first, before stopping any medication. You can also consult the following trusted resources:,

    Some newborn babies may have symptoms such as irritability, fast breathing, tremors and poor feeding if their mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy. These symptoms are usually mild and pass quickly, usually within 2 weeks. These babies typically respond well to a quiet environment, swaddling, skin-to-skin contact, and frequent small feeds. Serious problems such as heart defects or more severe breathing issues are very rare.After your baby is born, they will be watched closely to make sure they are healthy. Your doctors and nurses will make sure that you are both well before letting you go home. You may need to stay an extra day or two in the hospital so that they can be sure.

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