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FAQ

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counseling.
Symptoms may include:

  • Irritability or hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Crying or tearfulness
  • Anger
  • Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches

What is postpartum anxiety?
If you’re having recurrent feelings of intense worry or panic, you may have a postpartum anxiety disorder. Anxiety symptoms usually appear in the first two to three weeks after the birth of a baby, but may not reach a distressing level until several weeks later.
Symptoms include:

  • Extreme anxiety or irritability
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains or discomfort
  • Sensation of choking or smothering
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Sweating
  • Faintness
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, of going crazy, or of losing control

What causes depression after childbirth?
There is no single cause for postpartum depression but is a combination of hormonal, biochemical, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors.