Postpartum depression is triggered by major hormonal changes and other factors such as strong mental tension, child’s responsibility, and postpart physical discomfort. Inheritance also has a big influence. Postpartum depression is associated with a multiple decrease in the levels of female sex hormones, especially estrogen.
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How a woman will experience the postpartum period in psychological terms depends on her personality type, on the child its own, the child care experience, and the quality of partner and family support. Much of the psychological instability is due to the high demands on both herself and her partner, the pursuit of perfection, and the restless and still crying child. The psyche of a woman in a puerperium also affects physical problems like exhaustion after heavy labor, anemia, thyroid malfunction or infectious disease.
How does postpartum depression arise? Communication between nerve cells in the brain (on the nerve synapses) provides chemical substances called neurotransmitters. In depression, functional deficiency of norepinephrine and serotonin is a function of nerve synapses. In the woman’s body, the synergism of serotonin and the female sex hormone of estrogen, occurs. In addition, synergism results in a situation where the final effect of the co-acting components is greater than the sum of the effects of the components. That is why women are more prone to depression than men, and postpartum when there is a multiple decrease in estrogen levels will make depression to occur much easier.
Postpartum depression suffers 10-15% of mothers, especially single mothers without family background. It may occur suddenly or gradually at any time during the first six months after birth of a child. The first risk period is after the arrival from the hospital when a woman has to take care of the child but also the household. Generally, however, it occurs 3 to 4 weeks after birth of a child. At that time, intensive of support from their family members declines. It may also begin when the woman stops breastfeeding or the first menstrual period occurs.
Depressed mothers are tired, crying and irritated, or have strong mood swings, when the excellent mood quickly changes depression. They are unable to take care of their child, suffer from anorexia, intestinal and biliary problems, and sleep disorders (insomnia or dreadful dreams).
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