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Postpartum depression is surprisingly common, but what causes it? For many, it’s a mystery. The condition seems to creep up on people and consume their lives just when they want to enjoy time with their newborn child. 

Fortunately, this article has answers. We look at the reasons why some women get postpartum and what drives it. Then, we look at various techniques to overcome it. Here’s everything you need to know: 

Hormonal Changes

Researchers believe the main driver of postpartum depression is hormonal changes. The body’s internal signaling environment changes significantly after birth takes place. 

The biggest change is the drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormones vary in concentration naturally throughout the monthly cycle while not pregnant. But they can switch off more violently once the baby is born, creating disruption that affects the nervous system and brain. 

Depression is the chief symptom, but mood swings can also occur. You may find yourself feeling normal at lunchtime and absolutely awful by mid-afternoon. And it doesn’t take much to trigger the change (if anything at all). 

Sleep Deprivation

However, hormonal changes aren’t the only factors that might be playing a role. For some women, it might just be a case of sleep deprivation

Unfortunately, newborn babies don’t have established body clocks. Their minds aren’t trying to rest at 8 pm and wake up at 7 pm the following morning (a dream for many parents). Instead, sleep can occur at any time. 

For this reason, many babies frequently wake up during the night, leading to disrupted sleep. Often, it’s hard for parents to get the rest they need to carry on going through life at full speed. 

Sleep deprivation most often happens when babies wake up several times during the night and start crying. Too much sleep disruption that lasts months can lead to low mood and lack of energy to do anything. 

Emotional Issues

Other emotional issues can creep in around the time of birth affecting depressive episodes. These can include things like stress, anxiety, and worry. Parents might feel anxious about whether their children are healthy or their parenting skills are up to scratch. 

Social Pressures

Finally, some parents feel depressed because of social pressures. Family and partners might be expecting them to work harder or failing to provide adequate support, leading to feelings of loneliness. 

Fortunately, there are ways to fight back against postpartum depression. Things like online psychotherapy and medications can help tremendously. These combine talk therapies with direct interventions to improve mood and well-being. 

Getting support from family and friends can also help if they are available. Often, all you need to do is tell them how you feel and ask for help for them to respond. There’s not much more to it than that. 

Fortunately, postpartum depression isn’t something that lasts a long time. Once hormones normalize again and you get into a routine with your child, you can start feeling back to normal. Counselors can help you through this process and point you in the direction of support. 

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected].

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