"Postpartum Depression and How to Deal with It" is a perfect example of a paper on depression. Post-partum depression is one of the most common afflictions affecting women in their post-delivery periods. It is also known as ‘ baby blues’ and often occurs within three months following childbirth. This paper shall discuss the biological, psychological, physical, and mental aspects of this disorder, including how women deal with this problem. This paper is being carried out in order to establish a thorough understanding and management of this disease in order to prevent any complications and to ensure early identification and management among mothers and health professionals. The actual physical cause of this disease has not been specified, but scientists declare that hormonal imbalance is the most likely cause (Frank, 2012). In the postpartum period, the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol suddenly decrease and for some women very sensitive to these changes, post-partum depression may manifest. Other risk factors may include a pre-existing mental illness in the patient or in the family, postpartum mental disorder after a previous pregnancy, conflicts in the marriage, loss of employment, pregnancy loss, and poor family and social support (Frank, 2012). Childbirth also indicates a stressful time for women and difficulties in adjusting to this phenomenon can prove to be challenging for the woman and can then lead to depression. Physical changes following delivery, including changes in muscle tone and difficulty in losing weight, can cause feelings of depression. The fact that mothers often feel tired from carrying out their motherly duties can exacerbate their feelings of depression. Feelings of soreness and pain in their perineal area can also make them feel very uncomfortable; the recovery may even take longer for those having had cesarean deliveries (Frank, 2012). Emotionally, mothers may also feel an emotional loss of their old identity, especially for first-time mothers; some even feel like they are being trapped at home by the baby (Frank, 2012). They may also feel generally overwhelmed by their responsibilities, the changes in their routine, and their broken sleep patterns (Frank, 2012). They may also feel old and physically as well as sexually unattractive. Women afflicted with this disease often feel sad and feel like crying most times; they also do not feel much pleasure in life or their other activities; they lose weight and often have less energy for their activities; they feel easily agitated and anxious; they also feel worthless or guilty and often cannot make decisions on their own (Frank, 2012). Worse, some often have suicidal thoughts and in more extreme circumstances, contemplate killing their child. These patients also experience frequent headaches, chest pains, numbness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and general anxiety (Frank, 2012). Left untreated, postpartum depression can make the child-mother bonding difficult; eventually, it can lead to family issues (Mayo Clinic, 2010). Children of parents with unmanaged postpartum depression can manifest with behavioral issues including sleeping and eating disorders, temper tantrums, as well as hyperactivity; their language development can also be delayed (Mayo Clinic, 2010). When untreated, it can persist for up to a year or longer, sometimes, it can escalate to chronic depression or to a major depressive disorder.
Even when treated, it can still occur for future pregnancies. Women are dealing with this disease in varying ways. The first step that women have to do is to recognize that they do have an illness that requires medical intervention and time to heal (Pantley, 2003). After this is recognized, consulting with a medical professional is the next important step. Women have sought to resolve their issue by talking about their disease to someone, preferably a medical professional. Moreover, women have also shared their stories and feelings with their spouse, their mother, their friends, or any other close relatives (Pantley, 2003). This process has helped women evaluate their feelings and to have these feelings be evaluated by other people as well. Women have also been known to take a pro-active role in the management of their PPD by reading books on baby care and on parenting. Others have also joined groups on PPD and in this environment, they can safely and supportively discuss their feelings with other women suffering from similar issues (Pantley, 2003). Women have also struggled to accept help from others, but when they have accepted help, they were able to gain support in their tasks and share responsibilities with other people. Women have also understood the value of having extra sleep, resting, and relaxing without thinking too much of their responsibilities as mothers (Pantley, 2003). For some women, they find that relaxing their own standards in motherhood has also helped them manage their PPD. By not having to have a clean house, home-cooked meals, and clean sinks all the time, these women have been able to manage better in their new roles as mothers. Eating healthy foods, and getting adequate exercise also seems to work well in the management of PPD as it can give them the essential nutrients in order to manage their activities better (Pantley, 2003). Conclusion Post-partum depression is one of the major issues that new mothers seem to be facing. It is a disease that represents a disconnected feeling between the mother and the child. It is often debilitating and harmful to women and when untreated, it can lead to negative patient outcomes for the child and the mother. It can be managed by women through the application of various techniques including a healthy diet, exercise, relaxation activities, as well as lower standards in motherhood, as well as getting adequate sleep and support from friends, family, and from the medical profession.
Frank, J. (2012). Post partum depression. eMedicine Health. Retrieved 09 May 2012 from
Mayo Clinic. (2010). Post partum depression. Retrieved 09 May 2012 from
Pantley, E. (2003). Postpartum depression. Retrieved 09 May 2012 from