There are many causes of postpartum depression. Some of the feelings that are common with postpartum depression can be caused by:
- Hormonal changes
- Anxiety about taking care of a new baby
- Exhaustion from labor and lack of sleep
- Feeling overwhelmed with life's circumstances
- Having little or no help during the first few days after giving birth
- An emotional let-down following the experience of childbirth
- Previous mental illness or depression.
If you have previously been treated for depression, or have experienced postpartum depression before, you are at higher risk for developing postpartum depression.
(Click Postpartum Depression Causes for more information.)
If you experience any of the symptoms of postpartum depression and they persist or seem serious to you, then you should call your doctor right away. You may need additional treatment. Generally speaking, a combination of psychotherapy and medication can reduce the common symptoms of this condition. An ideal postpartum depression treatment plan includes:
- Medical evaluation to rule out physiological problems
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Medication (if necessary)
- Support group.
It is important that women receiving treatment for postpartum depression continue with treatment even after they feel better. If treatment is discontinued prematurely, the symptoms of postpartum depression can recur.
(Click Postpartum Depression Treatment for more information.)