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Postpartum Depression Treatment, West Houston

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Many women experience what is known as the "baby blues" after giving birth, which generally manifest as a combination of exhaustion, anxiety, and crying spells, along with mild depression and mood swings. Because these symptoms are so common, they are generally not investigated further, unless they continue and get worse.

Generally the baby blues last no longer than a couple weeks after giving birth, and are a normal part of motherhood onset by hormonal changes that occur in the body after birth. However, postpartum depression is a significantly worse issue, and while it can look very similar to the baby blues, it is a problem that should not be ignored.

Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

While many signs of postpartum depression are shared with the baby blues the symptoms of postpartum depression are much more severe and longer lasting. The most common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Negative feelings toward your baby
  • Worrying about hurting your baby or yourself
  • Lack of interest or motivation in your baby
  • Lack of concern for your baby or yourself
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Lack of energy
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or death

These symptoms usually begin soon after childbirth and gradually develop over several months, however in some women they can hit hard suddenly, or even not rear their head until many months after childbirth.

Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Seeking professional help at the suspicion of postpartum depression is generally advised for all mothers. Most cases of postpartum depression can be treated with a combination of hormone therapy and antidepressants. Estrogen replacement therapy can help with postpartum depression, especially if paired with antidepressants. Be sure to consult your doctor on the risks of both hormone therapy and antidepressant treatments, and voice any concerns you may have on either.

Additionally, a number of changes to lifestyle and habit can greatly affect your postpartum depression, and help you feel like yourself again. Changes such as getting a full eight hours of sleep every night, but no more, will help generate a better mood. Likewise, what you eat can have an impact on your mood, so making balanced and nutritious meals a priority in your life will help to improve your mood. Your diet also has an effect on the quality and contents of your breast milk, so establishing healthy eating habits will also help the health of your baby. Other lifestyles changes that will benefit you and your baby include getting outside in the sunshine, exercising regularly, and expressing your feelings with friends and family.

The information provided on this page is for general use only. All cases are unique to the woman experiencing them. For more information concerning postpartum depression treatment, contact Dr. Amaro and schedule an appointment today.

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