Postpartum Depression : A Mental Health Disorder

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Postpartum depression, or PPD, is a mental health disorder that occurs in women prior to the birth of a newborn infant. PPD is caused by a dramatic shift in hormones occurring anywhere from a month to a year after childbirth. Because of the hormonal changes, women may feel that pregnancy is a time of happiness, fear, excitement, exhaustion, and even sadness. Expecting mothers may also feel a multitude of emotions after delivery as well. Postpartum depression in new mothers is a debilitating illness that can affect her everyday life, her family’s life and her newborn infants’. Most women feel the affects of postpartum depression in he first weeks of motherhood. According the American Pregnancy Association’s 2014 statistics “approximately …show more content…

Women who have previously suffered with depression prior to childbirth have a higher chance of experiencing the debilitating depression. Teenage mothers have an increased risk of postpartum depression “with prevalence estimates ranging from 26% to over 50%” (Springer). Adolescent mothers can experience the consequences of postpartum more so than non-adolescent mothers because of “their increased risk of adverse birth outcomes, low self-esteem, little social support and parenting difficulties” (Springer) at such a young age. While there is no single cause for postpartum depression physical, lifestyle, and emotional factors may play a role in a woman’s diagnosis of PPD. After childbirth, a dramatic change in the hormones estrogen and progesterone may result in depressive thoughts; while thyroid produced hormones may leave a new mother feeling lethargic. Blood pressure, immune system, and metabolism also play roles in PPD and contribute to extreme mood swings. “There is also a psychological sense of anticlimax after an event that has been anticipated for many months” (Piotrowski). New mothers experiencing PPD symptoms may feel sleep deprived or lack confidence about motherhood, which can lead to anxiousness about caring for the baby. Many lifestyle aspects can lead to PPD, including a “demanding baby or older siblings, difficulty breast-feeding,

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