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Postpartum Depression: 5 Commonly Asked Questions Answered

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that affects a person after having delivered a baby. It can affect up to 15%, yet it isn’t taken as seriously as other mental health disorders. If you’re not sure what it is or what the symptoms are, then here are five of the most common questions about postpartum depression that other people ask.

1. What Is Postpartum Depression?

If you’re taking a postpartum depression quiz, then you should first know what it is. It takes place after giving birth, but it doesn’t only affect the birthing person. It can also affect surrogates and adoptive parents as well. It is caused by the hormonal, emotional, financial, physical, and social changes that take place after having a baby.

2. What Are The Types Of Postpartum Depression?

There are three main types of postpartum depression that a person can experience. These are:

● Postpartum blues or baby blues: this affects between 50% and 75% of people after delivery, and can involve long bouts of crying for no reason at all, as well as anxiety and sadness. This usually lasts the first week after delivery.

● Postpartum depression: this is a more serious condition than postpartum blues. It typically affects 1 in 7 new parents, and increases by 30% with each subsequent pregnancy. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include guilt, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and frequent crying. These symptoms can last even up to a year after delivery.

Postpartum psychosis: this is the most severe form of postpartum depression and requires emergency medical attention. Symptoms include paranoia, severe agitation, hyperactivity, mania, insomnia, and delusions, just to name a few.

3. What Causes Postpartum Depression?

During pregnancy, the hormones estrogen and progesterone increase ten-fold; those levels drop rapidly after delivery. This causes a lot of chemical changes in the body, and the added social and psychological changes further increase the risk of postpartum depression. It’s important to speak with your doctor if you fear that you might be experiencing postpartum depression.

4. What Factors Increase The Risk Of Postpartum Depression?

Some people are more prone to postpartum depression than others. Certain factors can increase this risk, including:

● Conflict in relationships or in marriage

● Limited social support

● Being a single and/or young parent (under the age of 20)

● Having a family history of depression or postpartum depression

● Ambivalence about the pregnancy

5. How Is Postpartum Depression Diagnosed?

Unfortunately, there is no specific test for postpartum depression, so it can be difficult to diagnose. In most cases, providers will conduct visits and tests post-delivery in order to screen for depression. During these visits, it’s important that new parents are open and honest about what they’re feeling so that a correct diagnosis can be provided.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you might have postpartum depression. They can help you figure out what the best means of treatment might be right for you, especially in helping you manage your symptoms. Counseling or medication (or both) might be provided to you to help minimize symptoms so you can have more memorable experiences with your baby.

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