Every mother is faced with a lot of new situations when having a newborn. New responsibilities, not getting enough sleep, having extra weight from the pregnancy, and breast pain are only a few of the things that new mothers are dealing with. But, there is a deep emotional pain coming after childbirth. Sometimes, it goes away quickly. Did you know that postpartum depression can strike even after the first year after giving birth? Yes, it may also occur anytime in the first year and a half after childbirth. This type of postpartum mood disorder is called delayed postpartum depression.
What Is Delayed Postpartum Depression and Why Do You Get It?
Postpartum mood depression occurs during the pregnancy period or in the first month after giving birth. But, postpartum depression can actually appear even several months after giving birth. This is a delayed type of postpartum depression.
Having some type of postpartum mood disorders is often related to great hormonal change. Pregnancy is a time of hormonal change, but there is also a hormonal transitional time when the women get their first period after delivering the baby. Also, hormonal changes are present when the woman starts birth control again and when she weans breastfeeding. Women can breastfeed their babies even for two years and the hormonal transitional stage will happen after this period.
Also, depression is related to dysregulation of how people deal with stress and it is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and autoimmune illnesses. The responses from the depression can be just really bad for the women and for the whole family as well.
Delayed postpartum depression doesn’t only affect the mother, it also affects the baby. You can see that the long term risk of future episodes of depression can appear in a child as well. It can have an impact on social learning and longer-term achievement of the child.
The great news is that seeking out treatment can be highly effective in both reducing the symptoms and reducing the long-term effects of postpartum depression.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of delayed postpartum depression can vary, and they range from mild to severe.
- Excessive crying
- Having insomnia or sleeping more than before
- Severe mood swings
- Having thoughts that you are not a good mother
- Not having the energy to finish the basic daily activities
- Feeling fatigue constantly
- Being unable to think clearly, or make decisions
- Not being able to concentrate on certain things like before
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks
- Lost interest in doing things you used to enjoy
- Having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Having suicidal thoughts.
One of the biggest reason why most of the women don’t seek treatment right away, and the situation is getting worse is because of a lack of knowledge. Most of the women think that if the symptoms of postpartum depression don’t start right away, they are now having it. Several months after, they are becoming irritable at their husbands and babies, and also frequently cry. Still, they don’t identify the situation as delayed postpartum depression.
So, women shouldn’t dismiss the symptoms of delayed postpartum depression. Delayed postpartum depression is a serious disorder that can be completely cured when treated on time. Not being aware of it can lead to some very serious conditions and problems.
If you have suicidal thoughts, seek help from your primary care provider or call a suicide hotline – the US National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
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