Causes of Post-Partum disorder The Postpartum disorder is caused by a shift in the hormonal environment. Within 48 hours of delivery, estrogen and progesterone levels drop dramatically. Gonadal steroids modulate neurotransmitter systems involved in the regulation of mood, and many health experts made a role for the hormonal shifts in the coming of postpartum disorder. Though this may be a cause for some women there is no direct correlation between hormone levels and the postpartum mood disturbance and that there is just a subgroup of women who are more sensitive to hormone changes that occur after delivery and therefore the population of women may be more vulnerable to postpartum disorder. Causes that are more common and more consistent is one women who report inadequate social supports, and stressful life events occurring during pregnancy or near the time of delivery increase the likelihood of depression. Lastly women with histories of major depression or bipolar disorder are more vulnerable to postpartum disorder and women with postpartum disorder will most likely have recurrent episodes of depression unrelated to pregnancy or childbirth.
Symptoms of Postpartum Disorder
There are many symptoms of postpartum disorder and they are depressed or sad mood, tearfulness, loss of interest in usual activities, feelings of guilt, feelings of worthlessness or, incompetence, fatigue, sleep disturbance, change in appetite, poor concentration, suicidal thoughts and significant anxiety symptoms as well. General anxiety is common but women also have panic by delusions of physical disease. Postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder is also a system in which women report disturbing and intrusive thoughts of harming their infants. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between depression and a mild postpartum disorder because symptoms are quite alike. There is a scale women use to identify if a women has postpartum depression. It is ten questions and a score of 12 or greater or yes for question 10 raise concerns and need further attention.
Postpartum Blues Postpartum blues is the most common form of postpartum disorder; it affects 50 to 85% of women during the first few weeks after delivery. Women with the blues more commonly report mood liability, tearfulness, anxiety or irritability. These symptoms peak on the fourth or fifth day after delivery and can last for a few hours or a few days and coming and going within two weeks of delivery. If the symptoms of depression persist for longer than two weeks, the patient should be evaluated.
Postpartum psychosis This level of postpartum is the most severe form of the postpartum psychiatric disorder. It occurs in 1 to 2 per 1000 women after childbirth. Postpartum is often very dramatic with an onset of symptoms as early as the first 48 to 72 hours after birth. The earliest signs of psychosis are restlessness, irritability and insomnia. Delusional beliefs are common and often center on the infant. Auditory hallucinations that instruct the mother to harm herself or her infant may also occur. Risk for infanticide, as well as suicide is significant in this population.
Treatment options for Postpartum disorder Therapies are very useful in the postpartum depression, in a study it was shown that short-term cognititve-behaivoral therapy was as effective as treatment with fluoxetine in women with postpartum depression. Interpersonal therapy is also useful for the treatment of women with mild to moderate postpartum depression. These work well for mild postpartum or