Postpartum depression is a psychological disorder after the birth of the baby. Some women after giving birth, may feel irritable, lose sleep, cry easily or change the mood from happy to sad quickly. These are symptoms of postpartum depression, caused by hormonal changes, stress situation and the demands of a new baby.

Generally, the peak postpartum depression occurs on the fourth day of maternity and can be relieved around two weeks after delivery in the case of slight depression. In some cases, depression is not restricted only to the mother and can also affect the parent. It is important to make clear to the patient that postpartum depression is not a character flaw or a weakness and that immediate treatment should manage the symptoms and let parents enjoy rich your baby.

Causes and symptoms

There is no specific cause for the disease. In many cases, the combination of hormonal changes resulting from the termination of pregnancy with emotional and physical factors, like lifestyle, ultimately influence for postpartum depression.

Among the symptoms, it highlights: trouble sleeping, mood swings, crying, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, irritability and poor concentration.

Risk factors and prevention

In view of the different behavioral conditions as well as the environment in which they live and the lifestyle they lead, some people are more likely to present postpartum depression. The risk factors include a history of postpartum depression; lack of support from family, partner and friends; high stress due to personal problems, family financial, labor, among others; previous physical limitations or after delivery; depression during pregnancy; bipolar disorder; familyhistory of depression or bipolar disorder; history dysphoric disorder premenstrual, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS); cases of domestic violence.

To avoid this situation from postpartum depression, the best thing to do is to take some preventive measures because, although they can not control hormonal changes, there are several factors that can be modified in the mother’s life to reduce the risk of developing this condition.

The first step is to keep body and mind strong, with healthy eating, at least eight daily hours of sleep and performing exercises frequently. It is highly recommended to avoid the use of caffeine, alcohol and other drugs or medications that are not recommended directly by a doctor or specialist.


Besides the support of family and friends, as well as counseling and psychological support, it is possible that the doctor prescribes some antidepressants to treat postpartum depression.

After starting antidepressant treatment, the patient should feel better within one to three weeks, but treatment can take six to eight weeks to really become effective. The use of medicines must be done for at least six months in order to avoid relapses, but the doctor can extend the use depending on the patient history.

Patients who have moderate postpartum depression to severe must combine medication with therapy. Conversely, patients who develop mild depression should not need the drugs.