How common is postpartum depression

Postpartum depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

Depression can arise in many life situations. This is also the case during pregnancy or in the period after the birth. Postpartum depression is when symptoms of depression occur within the first twelve months after the birth. The symptoms are the same as those of common depression. For example: depression, loss of interest or joy and listlessness.

Persistent postpartum depression can severely limit mothers as the symptoms affect their behavior and emotional state. Those affected often find the depression very stressful. The disease can also have a negative impact on the child's development. Due to the depression, the mother may find it difficult to carry out parental tasks, such as: performing an examination by a pediatrician, accompanying the child as he falls asleep, or ensuring the child's safety.

Puerperium depression affects about 8 out of 100 mothers who have not yet been diagnosed with mental illness. Most have symptoms within the first 3 months after giving birth.
How long such depression lasts varies. Usually the symptoms only appear for a few months. However, it is also possible that the illness lasts longer than the first year after the birth. There may also be further relapses after a depressive phase.

What causes postpartum depression is largely unknown. A combination of various factors is suspected, such as hormonal fluctuations after pregnancy. It is also possible that women have a genetic susceptibility. The depression can be triggered by stressful events such as the birth of a child or a changed life situation. Certain circumstances can also promote postpartum depression. For example, numerous births, cases of depression in or after pregnancy in one's own family, anxiety disorders during pregnancy or stressful life experiences such as witnessing domestic violence.

But: Certain physical signs such as insomnia or weight loss often occur with depression. But they are also normal during the postnatal period. Therefore, there is not always a depression behind it.
A questionnaire is used to determine postpartum depression. Those affected rate the extent to which the statements apply to themselves. For example, whether they were anxious or worried for no reason.

The treatment of postpartum depression cannot be medication, medication, or a combination of both. Which therapy is the right one must be decided together. The aim of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent relapses - so that you can enjoy the new happiness in the family!

Further information on the subject of postpartum depression and how to distinguish it from the "baby blues" can be found on the health portal of the Health Knowledge Foundation.

Knowledge is healthy.