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Defend yourself from postpartum depression being a new mother

by Melissa Bell
7 minutes read

Postpartum depression is a psychological disorder that affects nearly 1 in 7 women after the birth of the baby. The disorder can harm the well-being of both the mother and the baby. Still, 1 in 5 women does not react openly to the symptoms.

The most difficult thing is postpartum depression doesn’t disappear on its own like the baby blues. The symptoms may reappear days or even months after your baby is born. 

The issue may last long for months if you do not proactively opt for the treatment.

young women depression

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is connected to the mental state of the mother after having the baby. It indicates the chemical, social, and psychological changes that occur after baby birth.

The mother feels many physical and emotional changes due to hormonal drops after delivery. The actual link between this issue is still unknown. 

But it is confirmed that the levels of estrogen and progesterone, two female reproductive hormones, increase during pregnancy. 

After baby birth, they drop quickly. Within three days after the delivery, the hormone levels drop back to their actual limit what they were before the pregnancy.

Apart from these hormonal changes, few other social and psychological changes also trigger an increased risk of depression.

You might have decided not to become pregnant after learning these facts, don’t you? Guess what! Postpartum depression can be treated if you want to. But you may need to follow certain medication and counseling.

woman mother depression

What are the different types of postpartum depression?

Check out these three types of postpartum depression that can be visible after baby birth:

The “baby blues” Postpartum depression (PPD) Postpartum Psychosis
  1. Occur mostly in the days right after childbirth. The baby blues may last only a few hours or as long as one to two weeks after delivery.
  2. The new mom feel sudden mood swings, like – becoming too happy and suddenly experiencing sadness. Also, she may cry without reason and may feel impatient, irritable, restless, anxious, and lonely.
  3. The baby blues do not usually require treatment from a healthcare provider. Often, joining a support group of new mothers or talking with other moms helps.
  1. Occur in a few days or even months after childbirth
  2. A woman may feel mood swings similar to the baby blues — such as sadness, anxiety, despair, irritability., but more strongly than with the baby blues. PPD often makes a woman lazy and stops a woman from doing her day-to-day things.
  3. Women experiencing PPD require to see her healthcare provider for screening depression symptoms and develop a treatment plan.



  1. Occurs often within the first three months after childbirth
  2. Women can lose her sense of reality and have auditory hallucinations) and delusions. Visual hallucinations are rarely seen. Other symptoms may include insomnia, agitation, anger, restlessness, and strange feelings.
  3. Require serious treatment immediately and always need medication. Women experiencing this mental health issue are put into the hospital as they are highly vulnerable and may hurt themselves or someone else.


What are the signs and symptoms of different postpartum depression?

The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression may vary from mild to severe.

#Baby blues symptoms

Signs and symptoms of baby blues may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Crying
  • Lack of concentration
  • Insomnia (mild)
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loss of Appetite

#Postpartum depression symptoms

Postpartum depression signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Too much fatigue or loss of energy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive crying
  • Reduced ability to think, lack of concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt
  • Problem making decision
  • Lack of bonding with the baby
  • Distance from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you do not treat postpartum depression, it may last longer, typically for several months.

#Postpartum psychosis

The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Obsessive thoughts regarding the new born baby
  • Insomnia
  • Too much energy and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Postpartum psychosis may trigger life-threatening thoughts into you and requires immediate medical attention

young mother depression

How to defend yourself against postpartum depression?

1. Create a secure bonding with your baby

The emotional attachment between a mother and her child is the purest and important thing about motherhood. An unforgettable trust is formed through this secure attachment when you as the mother responded to your baby’s physical and emotional requirements. 

So, creating a secure attachment is nothing but recognizing and responding to each other’s emotional signals.

One study of 14,000 children in the United States found that 40 percent of the children lacked strong emotional bonds with their parents. This lack of strong parental attachment made the children more likely to experience behavioral and educational problems.”

Forming this unbreakable bond not only benefits your baby, but it also gives you a boost by releasing endorphins that make you happier and more confident as a mother.

2. Check your breast-feeding

As per 2012 studyTrusted Source, breast-feeding might lower the risk of developing PPD. Doctors suggest that breastfeeding may provide you the protection you need until the fourth month after delivery. If you enjoy nursing your baby more, don’t hesitate, go for it.

There are a few instances where mothers may show depression symptoms while breastfeeding. This situation is known as Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex or D-MER. In this condition, you may notice sudden feelings of sadness, agitation, or anger within you. It may last several minutes after you feed your baby.

3. Start your exercise session again

Researchers reveal that exercise works as an antidepressant for women experiencing PPD. You can start your cardio exercise by walking with your baby in a stroller. 

According to a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity, walking is one of the most significant ways to reduce depression.

If possible, have a Massage session once a week. A full-body massage can improve your blood circulation and helps to calm your mind. Massage therapy can help you during pregnancy, as well as after pregnancy, too. 

4. Take good care of yourself

Taking care of yourself is also a good option to fight postpartum depression. Few simple steps may include:

  • Sleeping or resting while your baby is sleeping.
  • Consuming omega-3 fatty acids through your diet. It can be found in oily fish such as herring and salmon.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid oily food
  • Avoid smoking and drinking. Most mothers having PPD is getting worse due to these two habits.
  • Eat fresh fruits, green veggies, eggs, milk, and calcium-enriched food.

If you have anyone who can look after your baby while you take a nap, make sure to ask for their help. This way you can keep yourself away from depression and can also able to treat anxiety symptoms.

5. Try psychotherapy and medication

If you are in a serious condition, your doctor might suggest you proper medication and treatment.

  • Psychotherapy– It is also known as mental health counseling or talk therapy. You may discuss your feelings and thoughts with the therapist. He/she will help you to set a few achievable goals. This way you may positively respond to situations.
  • Medications– Your doctor may suggest you antidepressants if your depression is severe or you didn’t respond to Psychotherapy.
  • Hormone therapy – Estrogen replacement therapy might come in handy in postpartum depression. Estrogen is often used in combination with an antidepressant.

This is the advanced stage of your therapy as there are risks involved with hormone therapy. So, make sure to discuss with your doctor about what is the safest and effective option for you.


This section of the content is not for new mothers who are suffering from severe PPD. This is for their husbands so that they can understand the importance of this issue. Being a husband or partner, your support is very much needed if you want her to be cured fully.

You should encourage her to talk freely about her pain. Listen carefully without judging her emotions, and offer solutions if possible. If you can’t find any solution, just be there to hold her hands.

Give your time and help her around the house. Share her responsibilities, don’t wait for her to ask!

Remember! She is severely depressed. So, do not force her to have sex. Depression affects sex drive, especially after childbirth.

Spend some time with her, go for a walk if possible. Make her feel special, that’s how you can get her out from the black hole of postpartum depression. Good luck!

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