June 12, 2017
Postpartum depression or in other words “PPD” is one of the most growing depressions out there. It is evaluated that approximately 0.5% to 61% of women suffer postpartum depression mood disorders (PPMDS) which also includes PPD.
What is PPD
New moms tend to face a lot of challenges in getting used to a life with a newborn. Dealing with lack of sleep, adjusting to a new job as a mom and even breast pain if you’re nursing can be one tough situation. Regardless of what people tell you, there is a certain deep emotional pain that comes after childbirth.
Most people tend to refer to this as “baby blues” which typically goes away after a week or two after childbirth, however, we’re talking about a severe form of clinical depression that is referred to as postpartum depression or PPD.
PPD is also referred to as postnatal depression, it is a type of depression that can affect both the parents after childbirth. PPD is more common than you think. One study conducted on 10,000 moms with newborns suggested that 1 in 7 women get postpartum depression. Luckily, for some mothers, dealing with this depression can be easy, whereas on most mothers this can be one difficult job to get over. Although there are many risk factors identified, the exact cause of this depression is still unknown, however, hormonal changes during and after pregnancy in women may be one of the reasons for it. The symptoms may include sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, mood swings and most importantly irritability.
Most of these symptoms go away after 2 weeks of childbirth, however, if these symptoms exceed for more than 2 weeks then the person may be suspected of PPD.
Reasons behind PPD.
There are many causes, however, the most common are:
When can one be diagnosed with PPD?
There is no definite test that can indicate that someone has PPD. However, if you do visit your health care provider, for a good diagnosis, he/she will take a detailed history of your symptoms and most importantly if there were any disorders related to this that runs in your family. The criteria required for the diagnosis of postpartum depression is if you have five of the nine symptoms listed below within a two-week period:
Most commonly these symptoms may be seen immediately after birth, however, some medical researchers suggest that the onset of postpartum depression may occur in the first year after delivery.
Prevention of PPD
A lot of research work has been done regarding this disorder, a review done by Cochrane found that psychosocial or psychological intervention after childbirth helps to reduce the risk of postnatal depression.
These interventions include home visits, talking with telephone based friends and family support, and interpersonal psychotherapy (Psychotherapy that revolves around resolving personal problems).
As a practicing dentist, we’ve seen a lot of mothers going through PPD. Whenever we do get patients suffering from PPD I always tell them following methods listed below, these methods are research proven
People with such depression may not recognize or acknowledge that they’re depressed. Most women may not be even aware of the sign and symptoms. If you suspect to have PPD it’s better to visit your healthcare provider or talk to a friend before the situation worsens.
Dr. Ameerzeb Pirzada
Chief and Consultant dentist at Z Dental Studio
BDS, RDS, M-Phil, C-Implant