If I Am Taking Antidepressants Can I Breastfeed My Baby
Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for babies. It also helps mothers and babies bond. If you are taking antidepressants, small amounts will come out through your breast milk. But studies have shown that children exposed to these drugs through breast milk have not had problems.
Even if you are taking antidepressants, you can breastfeed your baby for as long as you wish. Stopping an antidepressant during breastfeeding may cause the depression to return.
What Is Postpartum Depression And Anxiety
Its common for women to experience the baby bluesfeeling stressed, sad, anxious, lonely, tired or weepyfollowing their babys birth. But some women, up to 1 in 7, experience a much more serious mood disorderpostpartum depression . Unlike the baby blues, PPD doesnt go away on its own. It can appear days or even months after delivering a baby it can last for many weeks or months if left untreated. PPD can make it hard for you to get through the day, and it can affect your ability to take care of your baby, or yourself. PPD can affect any womanwomen with easy pregnancies or problem pregnancies, first-time mothers and mothers with one or more children, women who are married and women who are not, and regardless of income, age, race or ethnicity, culture, or education.
How Is Postpartum Depression Diagnosed
There is not a specific test that diagnoses postpartum depression. Your healthcare provider will evaluate you at your postpartum visit. This visit may include discussing your health history, how youâve felt since delivery, a physical exam, pelvic exam and lab tests. Many providers schedule visits at two or three weeks postpartum to screen for depression. This ensures you get the help you need as soon as possible.
They may do a depression screening or ask you a series of questions to assess if you have postpartum depression. They’ll ask how you’re feeling and how your baby is doing. Be open and honest with your provider to ensure they get an accurate picture of your emotions and thoughts. They can help distinguish if your feelings are typical or symptoms of postpartum depression.
Your healthcare provider may order a blood test because postpartum depression can cause symptoms similar to many thyroid conditions.
Remember, your healthcare provider is there to support you and make sure you are healthy, so be honest with them. There is no judgment, and you arenât alone in your feelings.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ppd
The warning signs are different for everyone but may include:
A loss of pleasure or interest in things you used to enjoy, including sex
Eating much more, or much less, than you usually do
Anxietyall or most of the timeor panic attacks
Racing, scary thoughts
Inability to sleep, sleeping too much, difficulty falling or staying asleep
Disinterest in the baby, family, and friends
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
Thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby .
If these warning signs or symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, you may need to get help. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, recovery is possible with proper treatment.
Do I Have Postpartum Anxiety Or Postpartum Depression
Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression share some symptoms, but they are different conditions. Excessive worrying, feeling panicky for no reason and having irrational fears or obsessions are all signs of postpartum anxiety. It’s important to discuss all your symptoms with your healthcare provider so they can get you the help you need.
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Myths About Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression is often misunderstood and there are many myths surrounding it.
- postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression in fact, it’s as serious as other types of depression
- postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes it’s actually caused by many different factors
- postnatal depression will soon pass unlike the “baby blues”, postnatal depression can persist for months if left untreated and in a minority of cases it can become a long-term problem
- postnatal depression only affects women research has actually found that up to 1 in 10 new fathers become depressed after having a baby
These factors are equally true of antenatal depression.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ppd
You may have PPD if you have five or more signs or symptoms that last longer than 2 weeks. Signs of a condition are things someone else can see or know about you, like you have a rash or youre coughing. Symptoms are things you feel yourself that others cant see, like having a sore throat or feeling dizzy. Signs and symptoms of PPD include:
Changes in your feelings:
Changes in your everyday life:
- Having little interest in things you normally like to do
- Feeling tired all the time
- Eating a lot more or a lot less than is normal for you
- Gaining or losing weight
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
Changes in how you think about yourself or your baby:
- Having trouble bonding with your baby
- Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby
- Thinking about suicide
If you think you have signs or symptoms of PPD, call your health care provider right away. There are things you and your provider can do to help you feel better. If youre worried about hurting yourself or your baby, call emergency services at 911.
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Treating Postpartum Depression In Men
Untreated, postpartum depression can cause marital and family problems. It can even affect the childs growth and development. Fortunately, it can be treated.
Treatment for men is the same as for women: medicine, such as an antidepressant, and/or counseling. Treatment may focus on the cause of a mans depression. For some, being a parent may feel overwhelming and they wonder if they are up to the task. Teaching parenting skills may boost dads confidence and reduce their depression.
New dads can also seek help at UPMC Central Pa. behavioral health. Call them at 717-231-8360.
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:
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Because of the high morbidity of postpartum depression, the focus today is now on prevention. Unlike the psychiatrist, the nurse is in a primary position to identify women at high risk for postpartum mood disorders before delivery. During the admission, the nurse may identify the female with a prior history of depression or postpartum blues. Further, any female who develops depression during pregnancy should be identified and closely followed by the postpartum nurse or primary care provider. These women need education and support on available treatments. Some of these women may benefit from a consult with a therapist and others may need a referral to a psychiatrist for treatment with an antidepressant after delivery. Both pharmacological and nonpharmacological prophylaxis has been used in such settings with variable success. There is also a large body of evidence that postpartum women with depression who are treated have a much better mother-infant bonding experience than those women who forego treatment. More important, infants of mothers who are depressed may also develop a variety of mood and behavior problems, as well as obesity later in life. Despite awareness of postpartum depression, many women miss out on treatment because they are simply not followed after pregnancy. Thus, the role of the postpartum visiting nurse is critical.
Can Postpartum Depression Affect My Baby
Yes, postpartum depression can affect your baby. Getting treatment is important for both you and your baby.
Research suggests that postpartum depression can affect your baby in the following ways:
- You have trouble bonding with your baby and don’t establish a connection with them.
- Your child may have behavior or learning problems.
- You may skip appointments with your child’s pediatrician.
- Your child may have feeding and sleeping issues.
- Your child may be at higher risk for obesity or developmental disorders.
- You may neglect your child’s care or not recognize when they are ill.
- Your baby may have impaired social skills.
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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.
How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last
Postpartum depression can last until one year after your child is born. However, this doesn’t mean you should feel “cured” in one year. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and treatment. Be honest about how you feel. Think carefully about if you feel better than you did at the beginning of your diagnosis. Then, they can recommend ongoing treatment for your symptoms.
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Postpartum Depression Is Different From The Baby Blues
Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of baby blues, a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.
If you think you have depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible.
What Are The Types Of Postpartum Depression
There are three different types of postpartum mood disorders:
Postpartum blues or baby blues
The baby blues affect between 50% and 75% of people after delivery. If you’re experiencing the baby blues, you will have frequent, prolonged bouts of crying for no apparent reason, sadness and anxiety. The condition usually begins in the first week after delivery. Although the experience is unpleasant, the condition usually subsides within two weeks without treatment. The best thing you can do is find support and ask for help from friends, family or your partner.
Postpartum depression is a far more serious condition than the baby blues, affecting about 1 in 7 new parents. If you’ve had postpartum depression before, your risk increases to 30% each pregnancy. You may experience alternating highs and lows, frequent crying, irritability and fatigue, as well as feelings of guilt, anxiety and inability to care for your baby or yourself. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may appear within a week of delivery or gradually, even up to a year later. Although symptoms can last several months, treatment with psychotherapy or antidepressants is very effective.
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Causes Of Postnatal Depression
The cause of postnatal depression is not completely clear.
There are a number of things that may make you more likely to have postnatal depression. These include:
- a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life
- a history of mental health problems during pregnancy
- having no close family or friends to support you
- a difficult relationship with your partner
- recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement
- physical or psychological trauma, such as domestic violence
Even if you do not have any of these, having a baby is a life-changing event that can sometimes trigger depression.
It often takes time to adapt to becoming a new parent. Looking after a baby can be stressful and exhausting.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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I Worried About Everything
Ive struggled with depression since my 20s and treated it with therapy and medication. I stopped taking medication before conceiving and hoped that the natural happy pregnancy hormones would continue after baby was born. But that wasnt the case.
I should have recognized the symptoms immediately and visited my doctor at the first signs, since previous depression increases the risk of PPD. I didnt talk to friends and family, because I felt they wouldnt understand PPD. And I felt conflicted because I couldnt understand why I was feeling depressed. I had every reason to be happy, between my baby, husband and new home. But I didnt want to hear about how grateful I should be. All my life, I wanted to have a family, yet I couldnt be happy about it. What was wrong with me?
After baby was 1 month old, my husband noticed that I was still weepy and irritable. We both knew that the depression I suffered in the past was returning. I went to see my doctor, and I burst into tears when she asked how I was feeling. I didnt have a clear answer as to why I was crying. I felt a deep sense of sorrow, but there wasnt a defining reason. Thats when I knew it was more than the baby blues. She put me on antidepressants. After a week, I started feeling better. I felt as though the brain chemicals were leveling out, and I started to feel more like myself again.
Oh Baby! A Moms Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year and blogger at amotherworld.com, Toronto, Ontario
Baby Blues Or Postpartum Depression
Almost every new mother up to 85 percent of them will experience the postpartum blues. You may feel happy one minute and overwhelmed and crying the next.
No mother is happy all the time, says Osborne. Its normal to be frustrated and even need to put the baby down sometimes.
If symptoms are severe or last for more than two weeks, a new mom should be concerned about a postpartum mood disorder, such as postpartum depression. Women who had anxiety or depression before giving birth are at higher risk. The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Intrusive thoughts
People tend to think of depression as sadness, but thats not always the case, Osborne says. Particularly in the postpartum period, theres a lot of anxiety and irritability, plus lack of sleep, which is a huge risk factor for postpartum depression.
And while its not necessarily a symptom of depression to be sleeping poorly with a newborn, it can make postpartum depression symptoms worse.
Theres good news on the research front, however. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Womens Mood Disorders Center identified epigenetic biomarkers differences in the activity of certain genes that predict whos most likely at risk for postpartum depression.
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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.
Postpartum Depression Is A Family Illness
Men can also get postpartum depression, Meyer says, noting that an estimated 10% of new fathers experience the condition.
PPD is a family illness, says Karen Kleiman, MSW, LSW, director of the Postpartum Stress Center, which has locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And, it can affect your relationship for years to come.
âIt is so isolating and self-absorbing for moms, that we often forget that dad is a big player here. I see a lot of couples who struggle with this and get through it, but at the other end, they are still angry and unforgiving,â Kleiman says. âI know women who 10 years later have said âI will never forgive you for not being there for me,â and the husband replies, âI didnât know what to do, you were shut down and wouldnât talk to me and werenât treating me well.ââ
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