Postpartum depression - Gynecology and Obstetrics

Updated 2 years ago on April 08, 2023

Symptoms of postpartum depression are identical to the manifestations of a major depressive episode Depressive disorders Depressive disorders are characterized by quite pronounced and persistent sadness, resulting in impaired activity and decreased interest in life. The exact cause is unknown... Read more information and may include:

  • Transient postpartum depression (e.g., rapid mood swings, irritability, anxiety, reduced attention span, insomnia, bouts of crying)

  • Excessive depressed mood

  • Mood swings

  • Uncontrollable tearfulness

  • Insomnia or increased sleepiness

  • Loss or increase of appetite

  • Irritability and temper tantrums

  • Headache and body aches and pains

  • Severe fatigue

  • Inadequate concern or lack of interest in the child,

  • The patient's fear that she will not be able to take care of the child or will be unfit to be a mother

  • Fear of harming the child

  • Feeling guilty about your feelings

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

Symptoms usually develop gradually over 3 months, but the onset can be sudden. Postpartum depression prevents women from taking care of themselves and the baby.

Women cannot form an attachment to a child, which can cause emotional, social, and cognitive problems for the child.

A woman's partner may also have an increased risk of developing depression, and depression in either parent can lead to stress in the relationship.

Without treatment, postpartum depression may resolve on its own, but it can also become chronic. The risk of relapse is 1 in 3 to 4 cases.

Postpartum psychosis is rare; untreated postpartum depression and psychosis increases the risk of suicide and infanticide, which are the most severe complications.

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