Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

Author: Christina Mesa

Childbirth can be accompanied by a mix of emotions, but many women do not expect to be depressed. According to National Institute of Mental Health, Postpartum depression is experienced by around 15% of women who give birth, from all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic statuses.  If you are experiencing PPD, you are not alone.  Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth.  Feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion may accompany symptoms of postpartum depression and may contribute to a woman’s inability to tend to the needs of herself and her family.  There is no particular cause for PPD, as it may result from a variety of different factors.  After a woman gives birth, her levels of estrogen and progesterone drop rapidly which can cause chemical changes in her brain.  This change can lead to mood swings.  New mothers may also be sleep deprived, which may lead to symptoms of PPD.

Symptoms include:

  • Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
  • Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
  • Thinking about harming herself or her baby
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family

There are several risk factors that may put some women at a greater risk for postpartum depression.

Risk Factors include:

  • Symptoms of depression during or after previous pregnancy
  • A stressful life event during or after giving birth e.g. Death of loved one, job loss, domestic violence
  • mixed feelings about the pregnancy
  • alcohol or drug abuse problems

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from postpartum depression, licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  For more information, visit



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