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Postpartum depression: how to recognize symptoms?

About 10% of mothers develop postpartum depression after delivery. What are the symptoms that should not be ignored? 

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is not uncommon: according to Public Health France, 10% to 15% of mothers would suffer from this particular form of depression after the birth of their child.

What is it about ? Be careful not to confuse the postpartum depressionwith the baby blues  : ”  all women (or almost) undergo a baby blues after delivery,  ” says Dr. Nadia Berkane, gynecologist-obstetrician.

”  Indeed, the third day after birth, there is a sharp drop in hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone, which are manufactured by the placenta during pregnancy): this major hormonal upheaval, associated with pain raw milk comes from a psychological “change of status” (one becomes mother) and the baby’s crying, causes irritability and feeling depressed in the mother.  “

Clearly, we cry non-stop, we want the whole world, it feels like “do not get there”, we spend our nerves on dad … In short, it does not go! ”  The baby blues starts on the third day after delivery and lasts less than a week , says Dr. Berkane.If the baby blues continues beyond a week and worsens, we talk about depression postpartum.  “

Postpartum depression: what are the risk factors?

Unfortunately, not all women are likely to develop postpartum depression after the birth of their child. However, some women are more at risk than others:

  • Women having given birth to their first child,
  • Women who are chronically depressed,
  • Women who experience mood disorders during and / or before their menses ,
  • Women who have already experienced postpartum depression,
  • Women with a psychiatric disorder.

In addition, a 2017 study by researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (USA) states that women who give birth in winter or spring are less likely than others to experience postpartum depression.

”  It’s a particular depression that comes from the physical and mental fragility of mom: postpartum depression is a severe form of baby blues – which is quite natural,  ” says Dr. Berkane.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

It has been said: Postpartum depression is a form of depression that specifically affects women who have recently given birth. The symptoms are as follows:

  • A great fatigue (we speak of apathy ),
  • An intense sadness (with an impression of despair: “I’m never going to get there”),
  • A general slowdown (“I do not have the strength anymore”),
  • A very dark vision of the future (sometimes with suicidal thoughts ),
  • A loss of intellectual vivacity (“I have an empty head”),
  • A devaluation (“I will not be a good mother …”),
  • A loss of pleasure (no joy to see her child, for example) …

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