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6 Major Causes of Postpartum Depression

 6 Major Cause of Postpartum Depression

‘Baby Blues’ is a natural feeling caused due to complex changes after pregnancy. Postpartum or postnatal depression occurs days or even months after delivering a baby (usually). One episode can increase the risk of another episode by up to 70% in the future. Genetic links i.e. family history or previous experiences of mental illness, depression or anxiety can also add onto the causes in general.  

Other factors that cause and increase the risk for after pregnancy depression include:

1. Being and continuing to be stressed in recent months. This can be because of:


Pregnancy Related

Fatigue, sleeplessness and breastfeeding issues after pregnancy that cause feelings of ‘inadequacy’.

Delivery Related

Issues that include the feeling of unnaturalness if you’ve had a caesarean delivery. Evidence also points out that an early discharge increases the risk of developing depression after pregnancy.

New Life/Physical Changes

Lower self-esteem, fear of failure/loss/disappointment, insecurity or non-preparation (like experiencing first-time, very young or older motherhood).

The Baby

Having a challenging baby who cries more than usual, is hard to comfort, whose sleep and hunger needs are irregular and hard to predict;

Or a baby with special needs (premature birth, medical complications, defects or illness). In addition, if the mother is single or has lesser people around to help, the stress tends to increase another episode of depression after pregnancy.

Interpersonal Related

Family problems like not having a good relationship with own mother or mother-in-law. An unhappy marriage which includes: isolation, lack of comfort/emotional as well as social support. This is practically by spouse (usually; but also people around the individual.) and is a major cause.

3. Been a victim of interpersonal violence such as domestic abuse.

4. Due to depression unrelated to pregnancy, which may increase the risk by 30%.

6 Major Causes for Postpartum Depression

4. Symptoms of a biological nature that affect mood and physical controls:

- severe premenstrual syndrome.

- thyroid gland dysregulation (Hyperthyroidism).

- hormonal imbalances (natural or otherwise).

5. Unwanted pregnancy, confusion or unsurity about the pregnancy.

6. Cross-cultural location/region: Studies suggest that non-western countries (like India) have a lower risk of depression after pregnancy. Yet, the same does not apply to the more episodes of psychosis. This is because of the level of emotional and physical support that is largely present in non-western societies. In highly traditional groups, there is greater recognition of the demands of motherhood. Thus, the new mother receives assurance of temporariness and that she does not have to face it all by herself.

Postpartum or postnatal psychosis is a suddenly occurring illness in the first 2 weeks or rarely 3 weeks after having a baby. As this is rare, its causes also do not include the individual directly but rather a biological influence. This includes cause by genetic factors of mental illness or postpartum/postnatal depression (of your own or if a close relative has had it), changes in hormone levels and disrupted sleep patterns.  

Disclaimer- All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child. 

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