Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

What a Baltimore Psychiatrist Wants You to Know About Postpartum Depression

When a woman has a baby, we congratulate her on her ‘bundle of joy’ and celebrate how happy couples must be to finally be parents. However, behind closed doors, we often do not see the struggles that new parents face on a day-to-day basis. Financial change, new responsibilities, sleep deprivation, and postpartum depression are huge stressors for new parents that too often are overshadowed by the excitement of a new baby. Psych Associates of Maryland knows how stressful a life change like a new baby can be and water to help you through the highs and lows that every life change brings you. That’s why Psych Associates of Maryland - a trusted Baltimore psychiatrist - is here to break down everything you need to know and understand about postpartum depression.

What is Postpartum Depression?

A Baltimore Psychiatrist Breaks Down This Common Mood Disorder

post partum depression baltimore

We’ve all heard of postpartum depression and are likely familiar with it in terms of ‘the baby blues’ that women face after having a baby. However, postpartum depression is a serious mood disorder that occurs in women after childbirth when a woman experiences extreme sadness, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion that makes it difficult to carry out daily activities for herself and her family.

Postpartum depression is much more serious than ‘the baby blues,’ which affects up to 80% of new mothers. Baby blues typically last a week or two and go away on their own. Postpartum depression, however, involves these feelings beginning a week to a month after childbirth and carrying on for a longer period of time. Up to 15% of new mothers experience postpartum depression, which is typically treated with antidepressants and talk therapy with a counselor. An official diagnosis from a Baltimore psychiatrist is required to know you have postpartum depression versus another mood disorder. 

Who Gets Postpartum Depression?

Women of All Walks of Life Struggle with Postpartum Depression

postpartum depression baltimore pregnant woman

There’s a stigma surrounding postpartum depression that Psych Associates of Maryland is dedicated to quashing. People often associate women with postpartum depression with being a bad mom or doing bad parenting, but much like clinical depression, postpartum depression is caused by a variety of factors that are unrelated to a woman’s ability to parent a child.

Women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic statuses struggle with postpartum depression suffer from postpartum depression, and just because a woman suffered from postpartum depression with one child doesn’t mean she’ll face it with others.

Much like other mental health and mood disorders, women have a great risk of developing postpartum depression due to a variety of risk factors, including

  • Existing/history of symptoms of depression
  • A family member with depression or mental illness
  • A stressful life event during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, such as job loss, death of a loved one, domestic violence, or personal illness
  • Medical complications during childbirth
  • Mixed feelings about the pregnancy, whether it was planned or unplanned
  • A lack of strong emotional support from her spouse, partner, family, or friends
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse problems

Why Do Women Get Postpartum Depression?

A Baltimore Psychiatrist Breaks Down Why Postpartum Depression Occurs

baby baltimore postpartum depression

Much like clinical depression, postpartum depression is not the fault of the new mother and is entirely out of her control. While pregnant, women have elevated hormone levels to help her body properly care for the baby in her belly. When the baby is born, these hormone levels quickly drop and can lead to chemical changes in her brain. These chemical changes are adjustments in a very delicate chemical balance that exists in the human brain to regulate mood. Chemical changes can cause depression, mood swings, trouble sleeping, and more, which cause and enhance the existing symptoms of postpartum depression. A woman, as mentioned, is at a higher risk for postpartum depression if she is non-neurotypical, or has experienced another mood disorder diagnosed by a Baltimore psychiatrist.

How Can I Get Help for Postpartum Depression?

A Baltimore Psychiatrist Can Help Treat Your Postpartum Depression

smiling baby beach maryland postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is treated the same way as clinical depression: through talk therapy and antidepressants. Healthcare providers like a Baltimore psychiatrist are the only people able to diagnose a woman with postpartum depression because symptoms vary and can be more severe depending on the woman. Treatment typically takes several months and practitioners will often suggest that the mother remains on the antidepressant even once symptoms subside, although the dosage may be lowered in some situations.

Think you could use the help of a Baltimore psychiatrist for your postpartum depression or another mental health ailment? Get in touch with Psych Associates of Maryland today to learn how we can provide you with professional help for all your mental health needs.


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