how common is postpartum depression

How Common is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a state of physical and emotional instability experienced by new moms after having a baby, especially their firstborn. But how common is postpartum depression? According to studies, nearly 15% of women can have postpartum depression (PPD). The symptoms of postpartum depression might last longer, typically months or even a whole year. It can also impact the mom’s ability to get back to a normal condition. Guilt, grief, emotional discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, and tiredness are common symptoms of postpartum depression, which negatively impact the mother’s relationship with the infant. 

If you are confused about how common is postpartum depression or have these depressive symptoms, know that you are not alone. Taking help from a health service provider would be the best remedy to get rid of PPD in the worst situations. 

What is Postpartum Depression?

Like depression, postpartum depression is a severe mental issue faced by a good percentage of women shortly before, during, and immediately after giving birth. Though it is normal for women to have postnatal worries and anxieties after their delivery, if you are suffering from severe despair, mood swings, crying, sadness, and loneliness, those may be symptoms of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can negatively impact the bonding between the mother and newborn, also. Hence, it is better to get it treated to enjoy your postpartum period to its fullest. 

Baby Blues vs Postpartum depression

Baby blues is a common, mild depression that occurs in more than 50 percent of women immediately after birth. During the baby blues, new moms will experience sudden mood swings to intense mental pain and sadness. Contrary to postpartum depression, the baby blues symptoms will last only for a short period of time, especially during the first two weeks after childbirth. Medical care or treatment may not be necessary during this time. 

Women suffering from the baby blues are more likely to develop PPD. Anxiety, impatience, and feelings of grief and despair are more evident in this state, and the symptoms may frequently occur and may last for even months. It usually impairs a woman’s potential to function properly, and if left untreated, the symptoms could get worse.

Who can get postpartum depression?

Most studies indicate that nearly one in every seven women experiences postpartum depression after childbirth. Now, the answer to the quest “How common is postpartum depression?” might vary depending on countries, geographies, etc. Postpartum depression (PPD) can develop in any new mother, and even new fathers may also experience it. Surrogate mothers can also develop PPD symptoms. However, some people may have a higher chance of having PPD than others. 

The risk elements for those who are susceptible to postpartum depression include: 

  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Lack of support/relationship issues with your spouse
  • Issues related to pregnancy or childbirth
  • Giving birth to multiple babies (twins, triplets)
  • Limited social support
  • Single parenting or being under the age of 20
  • Giving birth to a child with special needs or health issues
  • Difficulty breastfeeding

Most Common Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

The symptoms of postpartum depression vary with the mother’s social and emotional conditions. If you are suffering from postpartum depression, the following tips may help you manage your postpartum symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping or restlessness
  • Anger, frustration, and sadness
  • Guilty feeling or feel like crying
  • Fear of hurting the baby or yourself
  • Overconcerned or neglecting the baby
  • Lack of interest in casual things, including sex
  • Changes in appetite and poor eating habits
  • Feel as if you didn’t even want your child
  • Overly stressed or feeling on edge
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Unexplained headaches, rapid heartbeat and chest pain
  • Difficulty concentrating and functioning actively
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feel like sleeping all the time

Ways to Deal with Postpartum Depression

Parenting, especially for first-time mothers and in the postnatal period, is full of ups and downs. If you are suffering from postpartum depression, here are some tips you can try to deal with postpartum symptoms:

  • Find time for yourself and activities you enjoy, like hobbies
  • Talk/spend time with friends
  • Join a support group for new moms
  • Share your responsibilities with your spouse/partner
  • Make an effort to eat properly and timely
  • Get help managing your household chores
  • Make exercise a habit
  • Engage in activities you used to enjoy
  • Seek medical help

Postpartum depression is very common these days. Nevertheless, nearly half of PPD-affected new moms go untreated because of privacy issues and a fear of losing social support; hence, they try to keep it a secret from family members. With proper medical care, postpartum depression can be treated effectively. Your medical practitioner will treat you depending on the severity of your symptoms. Ignore the question, “How common is postpartum depression?” All you need to do now is express your feelings to your loved ones and seek medical attention right away. 

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