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Postpartum Depression in Mothers

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Welcoming a new life into the world isn’t always a joyous and exciting time for mothers. For some women, the postpartum period can be filled with feelings of sadness, anxiety, and overwhelming stress. These are all symptoms of postpartum depression or perinatal mood disorder, two names for a type of mood disorder that affects mothers after giving birth.

While it is normal for new mothers to experience a range of emotions, postpartum depression is more severe and can significantly impact the mother’s ability to care for herself and her baby. If you or a loved one is struggling with postpartum depression, professional treatment can help. Columbia Associates offers perinatal mood disorder treatment in our locations in Virginia and Maryland that focuses on the unique challenges and needs of new mothers. If you’re looking to learn more, reach out to us at 703.682.8208 today.

Understanding Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects mothers after childbirth. It’s not always connected to a prior history of depression or other mental health conditions—some new mothers develop depression for the first time after giving birth. It typically develops within the first few weeks or months after delivery and can last for several months to a year if left untreated.

The cause of postpartum depression is believed to be a combination of physical and emotional factors. During pregnancy, hormone levels drastically change, which can affect brain chemistry and lead to mood disturbances. Additionally, the physical demands of childbirth and caring for a newborn can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and stress. For some women, the significant life changes and lack of sleep can also impact mental health.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to those of major depression and can include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Difficulty connecting with baby or loved ones
  • Thoughts of harming oneself or one’s child
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Irritability and anger

These symptoms can be mild to severe and may impact a mother’s ability to care for herself and her baby. It’s important to seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms after childbirth.

How Postpartum Depression Treatment Can Help

Postpartum depression treatment can help mothers discover how to manage symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Just a few of the topics and techniques covered in treatment may include:

  • Understanding the causes and triggers of postpartum depression
  • Learning coping skills for managing symptoms
  • Addressing any underlying mental health conditions or concerns
  • Exploring ways to reduce stress and improve self-care during this challenging time
  • Building a support system
  • Finding a healthy balance between caring for oneself and caring for the baby
  • Developing a plan for ongoing care and self-care after treatment ends
  • Medication management, if needed

There’s help and hope for postpartum depression. If you or a loved one is struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek professional support. It takes a village to raise a child, and that includes supporting the mental health of new mothers.

Reach Out to the Columbia Associates Team Today

Columbia Associates offers compassionate and comprehensive mental health services, including perinatal mood disorder treatment. Our experienced therapists and psychiatric professionals understand the unique challenges of motherhood and can provide the support and guidance needed to effectively manage postpartum depression.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.