I had PPD after my first daughter who is now about 26 months and I am now 6 weeks pregnant with second and concerned about its return. I was on antidepressants for about 6 months which helped alot but only saught help after a year. As someone posted before about PPD symptoms, that is right on. The first post about the extremes of hurting one's child and themselves is a component of Post Partun Psychosis. I had PPD with PP OCD. The last? replier indicated obsessive thinking, seek help if you have not. There are alot of articles online for PPD OCD as well....I was in a car accident with my daughter when she was 4 months old and it was not my fault(first accident) but started to have "intrusive thoughts" abotu all the what ifs and it consumed me. Some were simple, others complex and frightening. When I saught help, it was indicated of which I knew that I had anxiety, some OCD behaviors and Depression BEFORE I had my daughter but the PTSD of the accident sparked it. Basically the intrusive thoughts are maternal protection in overdrive. I still have these concerns here or there, specifically when stressed but am able to talk myself through them as my maternial worry and realize the reality of things. A book that had some great points was Brooke Sheilds Down came the Tears? Along with therapist, I also engaged with a mother self help group. Alot of my PPD was exasterbated by sleep deprivation, working full time, breastfeeding for first 7 month and really as a therapist, dealing with other peoples emotional problems and not finding the balance and time to look at my own.
6/14/07 10:33 P
I'm from the Nov. '06 board and searched my way into this thread.
I have regular depression that is hormonally influenced (I get moody/suicidal around periods, so you know pregnancy was no walk in the park). Fortunately, I have a big support group. It's not easy.
But those people who kill their kids? Those are the ones who get media attention. You can get help. There's no rule that says you even have to WANT to hurt your kid to have PPD. But it doesn't mean you should have to suffer. A lot of hospitals will offer some type of support or know where to send you for it.
It's not easy. But it's just an extra thing to deal with, if that makes sense. Like not having a left arm. Would be a hassle, trying to raise a kid with only one arm. But it doesn't mean you can't do it, or you won't do as good of a job as somebody with two arms. You'll just do that great job a little differently.
DD Kestrel, 11/2/06
DD Cadence, 10/20/10
6/8/07 1:26 P
I believe there is a thing such as PPD, I also believe doctors over diagnose with it.
I was mildly depressed after having my son, but it did not fit the symptoms of PPD just genereal depression. I was not anywhere near suicidal and was very happy with my son and husband, I just never felt like anything else made me happy.
So I think telling all women who have had a child that their depression may lead them to harming their babies is wrong. I never once regretted my son, wished I hadn't had him, or thought about getting rid of him.
Our Phoenix is Due July 10, 2008
6/8/07 12:37 P
I had it bad after my first, and it's come back with this pregnancy. I constantly have visions of horrible things happening to her--every horrible news story I hear, I obsessively imagine it happening to her. It's awful. I can't carry her in the top level of the mall cause I imagine falling and dropping her off the railing!!
it's awful, like a constant waking nightmare. but it went away after a few weeks and I hope it will with this little one too. I may adopt the rest of mine, as pregnancy is very hard on me psychologically.
6/8/07 11:15 A
I can honestly say that this getting postpartum depression is my biggest fear. DH asked me last week if I am afraid of having the baby or being a mother. Nothing scares me or makes me nervous except the idea of getting depression afterwards. I am hoping that being so aware of my fears will help me to fight it if I get it.
Oh, I did find this patient handout on a website called mdconsult:
What is postpartum depression?
After childbirth, many mothers feel more emotional. They may feel sad, afraid, or angry. This is called postpartum blues or the baby blues. For most women these postpartum blues are mild and go away within a week. Postpartum depression lasts longer and is more severe. About 10 to 20% of women, especially very young mothers, have the more severe form. How does it occur?
You may have postpartum depression within a few days to a few weeks after giving birth or having a miscarriage. For about 60% of women, it is your first episode of depression. While hormone changes after giving birth seem to play a part, the full causes are not known. Risk factors that increase your chances of getting postpartum depression are:
* having been depressed sometime before you got pregnant * having been depressed after a previous pregnancy * having family members who were depressed, especially after a pregnancy * returning home with your baby to a very stressful home or relationship * having a baby with health problems or a baby who cries often * having a miscarriage late in pregnancy or a stillbirth
If your pregnancy was unwanted you are also at risk for post partum depression.
What are the symptoms?
Besides feeling sad and uninterested in activities, you may also:
* Feel unable or unwilling to care for your baby. * Think often about bad things that could happen to your baby or feel like harming your baby. * Be irritable. * Have trouble falling asleep, wake up very early, or sleep too much. * Feel overwhelmed by everyday activities such as taking a shower or doing laundry. * Have little or excessive appetite. * Be tired and low in energy. * Have low sexual desire and function. * Feel worthless and guilty. * Have trouble concentrating or remembering things. * Feel hopeless or just do not care about anything. * Have unexplained pain in your back or abdomen, or get headaches. * Worry that you will never feel better.
Some women also become anxious, have hallucinations, or delusions. If you have hallucinations (hear voices or see things not present) or delusions (thoughts not grounded in reality) this is called postpartum psychosis.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider or a mental health professional can tell you if your symptoms are postpartum depression. He or she will ask about your symptoms and any drug or alcohol use. You may be tested to rule out medical problems such as hormone imbalances. There are no lab tests to diagnose postpartum depression. How is it treated?
Do not try to overcome postpartum depression by yourself. It can be successfully treated with either psychotherapy or antidepressant medicine or both. Discuss this with your health care provider or therapist.
Several types of medicines can help treat postpartum depression. Discuss the use of medicines with your health care provider if you are breast-feeding. Your health care provider will carefully select a medicine for you.
You must take antidepressant medicines daily for 3 to 6 weeks to get full benefit from them.
Seeing a mental health therapist is helpful. Therapy may last a short time or may need to go on for many months. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a way to help you identify and change thought processes that lead to depression. Replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones can help your depression.
Natural and Alternative Treatments
Claims have been made that certain herbal and dietary products help depression. St. John's wort is the only one that research shows is effective in treating postpartum depression. Check with your health care provider before beginning St. John's wort if you are breast-feeding.
Many types of alternative treatments may help depression. Some of them are:
* Biofeedback. Through biofeedback you learn to control body functions such as muscle tension or brain wave patterns. Biofeedback can help with tension, anxiety, and concentration, and indirectly may help depression. Biofeedback, like relaxation therapies, should be done only in addition to psychotherapy and medicine. * Massage Therapy. Massage therapy may help lower stress, but it does not cure depression. * Relaxation Therapies. Learning ways to relax can help with depression. Yoga and meditation may also be helpful. * Art and Music Therapies. Some women find art and music therapy, along with medicines and psychotherapy, are helpful in treating postpartum depression.
Ask for help with night time feedings so that you can sleep. You may also find it useful to get help with household chores. Take time for yourself without your baby. Hire a sitter, leave your baby with a close friend or your spouse, and get out. Spend time with support groups and friends, and don't be afraid to share both your fears and your joys. How long will the effects last?
In most cases postpartum depression slowly goes away in the first 9 months after birth. For a few women it lasts beyond 1 year. Treatment helps speed the recovery.
What can I do to help myself or my loved one?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial. Staying physically and socially active, especially with your partner, is very important. Having regular sleep and eating patterns will also help you. Since you will need to be up during the night with your baby during the first few months, it is important to take naps to keep your energy up.
Certain medicines such as benzodiazepines and levofloxacin (Levaquin) can add to the symptoms of depression. It is important to check with your health care provider before taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicines.
To help prevent postpartum depression:
* Exercise as appropriate for you physical condition in the days right after giving birth. * Participate in activities with your significant other and baby. * Talk to your family and friends. * Ask for support. * Avoid alcohol and caffeine. * Eat a healthy diet. * Develop a regular sleep and nap pattern. * Learn ways to lower stress, such as breathing and muscle relaxation exercises.
When should I seek help?
Do not try to overcome postpartum depression by yourself. Seek professional help if you believe that you or a loved one has the symptoms described here.
Get emergency care if you or a loved one has serious thoughts of suicide or harming your baby, or if you hear voices or see things not present, or have delusions (thoughts not grounded in reality).
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
I definiteley think PPD is real. I definitely don't think I had PPD but I did have some baby blues after my son was born but it didn't last long...maybe only a couple of days. I was very excited my son was finally here but I had feelings of sadness & fear/anxiety too...like that everything had changed and I wasn't exactly sure how to grasp that and everytime Chase cried (which was a lot, colic) I cried also...but I had a lot of support with family and friends and allowing myself to cry helped...It only lasted a couple of days and I never felt like I was a danger to the baby or myself just a little blue..I think after a couple of days once the shock of labor and bringing the baby home and the hormones settling some I was fine and totally enjoying my little Chase! But I can definiteley see where it could be problem for some...especially if they are not aware that feeling overwhelmed and anxious at first is normal and if they don't have any support.
Edited by: BEACHBABIES at: 6/8/2007 (13:35)
6/8/07 10:49 A
Well I'm sure babyfit has something in their resource center on info for first time moms. I also think that there is a mommy team or community forum for those with PPD.
I did find the following for signs to look for in a book called: Moore & Jefferson: Handbook of Medical Psychiatry, 2nd Ed., ch. 79 Postpartum Depression
Clinical Features: depressed mood, anxiety, fatigue, difficult to concentrate, crying spells, loss of appetite, and some insominia. Some women become violently obssesive and have thoughts and desires of suicide and, rarely, killing baby.
6/8/07 10:11 A
PPD and baby blues are real. Its not something to believe in, its proven by medical science. Its caused by the increase and decrease of all those hormones that your body is going through. Some women get it, others don't.
With my first, I didn't have PPD, but I did go through some baby blues. Luckily DH noticed the signs before I did and helped me through.
I think its not just educating yourself, but also educating those around you so they can help you out.
It is sad those who have it so bad that it results in such tragedy. Thats why it is important for everyone around you to know the signs and know how to get you through it.
6/8/07 9:39 A
I just feel so compelled to write this. I have been reading a lot in the news about mothers killing their kids and turning around and killing themselves. From what I read these actions are being caused by PPD and I just feel so sad. I think it is important for us as women to educate ourselves on this and to know the signs and realize it is ok to ask for help and not to be ashamed for doing so. I personally have never experienced PPD but I have some friends that have and I know it is very real. I'd like to get some feedback on how you feel about this subject. I have had some women say that PPD isn't real? Is that how you feel? Have you experienced this? My prayers go out to all the families and all the babies and kids that have been killed.
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