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Sanford Obstetrics & Gynecology
Why do women get depressed after giving birth?
Are certain women more likely to get postpartum depression?Any woman can develop postpartum depression after any of her pregnancies. If you have a history of depression – whether it’s during previous pregnancies or at other times, if you have bipolar disorder and if you’ve had extremely stressful events during pregnancy, such as complications, marital or job problems, your risk for postpartum depression increases.
When does postpartum depression go away?
Untreated, postpartum depression can last up to a year or more and even become a chronic disorder. Your condition not only affects your health, but your family’s health as well. If you are depressed, the risk of the baby’s father becoming depressed increases. Mothers with untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have children with behavioral problems, such as sleeping and eating difficulties, temper tantrums and hyperactivity. If you think you have postpartum depression, make an appointment with an obstetrician.
Can postpartum depression be treated effectively?Yes, postpartum depression can be treated effectively. First, though, your doctor will determine if that is your diagnosis because there are other medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, that have similar symptoms. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and childbirth, changes in blood volume and metabolism, the sleep deprivation that often accompanies childbirth, difficulty breast feeding, genetic and hereditary factors and emotional and lifestyle changes are among factors that can contribute to postpartum depression. Your doctor can prescribe lifestyle changes, counseling and medications to help you feel good again and enjoy your time with your family and new baby.