Postpartum depression

Postpartum Depression in Men – Does it Exist?

Even though women bear the brunt of carrying a baby and then giving birth, postpartum depression in men should also be taken into account.  As men adjust to a new baby in the home, they may experience anxiety, depression, and a number of other symptoms.  At the very least, if you can accept that this condition exists, you will have a better chance of helping your partner get past this phase as quickly and easily as possible.  In addition, once you acknowledge that you are also having adjustment issues, you can seek help and look forward to an increased level of enjoyment in being a new father.

Postpartum depression in men

Postpartum depression is often experienced by both parents

Symptoms and Risk Factors Associated With Male Postpartum Depression

Overall, postpartum depression in men follows a course similar to what women experience. New fathers will feel anxious, and stressed out as well as go through any number of mood changes. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe that postnatal depression in men exists simply because there are no hormonal or bodily changes, let alone the experience of delivering a child.  That said, it is very important to realize that all the emotions that occur during pregnancy are bound to have an impact even after the baby is born.

Interestingly enough, sharing parenthood with a woman that has postpartum depression represents the most common risk factor for male postpartum depression.  A study published by the Journal of Advanced Nursing indicates that 24 – 50% of all men that experience postpartum depression within one year have a partner suffering from the same condition.  Therefore, if you find yourself having sudden mood swings, or other signs of depression, you may want to try couple based counseling for this issue.

Getting Help for Postpartum Depression

As with any other situation that has a negative impact on your outlook or sense of well being, it is very important to seek counseling.  If your doctor does not know about postnatal depression in men, you can do some research online to find an outreach group, as well as a list of counselors that can help you manage this issue.  At the very least, once you have someone to talk to, you will find it much easier to navigate through this stage of parenthood.

When you hold your newborn for the first time, you are bound to be awed by all of the wonders of that moment.  On the other hand, once you bring the baby home and begin the process of getting to know the new baby, you may start experiencing mood swings and other psychological symptoms.  While many doctors do not recognize postpartum depression in men as a valid condition, studies reveal that it does exist, and that some type of treatment may be necessary.

Goodman, Janice H, Paternal postpartum depression, its relationship to maternal postpartum depression, and implications for family health, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol 45, Issue 1.
Photo by Kevin N. Murphy

List of 9 Habits That Can Provoke Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Postpartum depression is one of the mental disorders that may affect women after childbirth. Its major cause is enormous change in hormonal level and body’s rebuilding after delivery. The symptoms of postpartum depressive condition are very fierce.  Women feel overwhelmed and irritated. Their mood changes unexpectedly: depressed women get into out-of-control rage then into guilt because of their behavior. They often feel like they can’t handle being mothers because of uncontrolled fear and permanent anxiety. Concomitant disorders may also appear such as concentrating and speaking disturbances.

According to medical researches, there are some common habits that can provoke developing of postpartum depression:

1 Eating habits

“We are what we eat” Bad eating habits have great influence on mental health. Irregular food intake, unhealthy foods, overeating or malnutrition, lack of vitamins and minerals – all these factors weaken our resistance to negative impacts. So, you can lessen the risks of depression by controlling your habits of eating. Find Out What Are 8 Foods You Should Include In Breastfeeding Diet

Postpartum depression

Relaxation and spa procedures protect from depression

2 Insufficient rest

Sleep plays important role in restoring our defensive functions. If a woman couldn’t get enough rest, her immune system will be exposed to permanent stress.

3 Laziness

When a woman hardly maintains her beauty she is much more predisposed to depression.  Taking care of yourself will strengthen your self-esteem. So, it is beneficial to dedicate at least 30 minute per day to body workouts or beauty procedures – manicure, face masks, spa and massage.

4 Alcohol and smoking

Both alcohol and smoking destroy nervous system. So, eliminating these habits is an important step in preventing postnatal depression.

5 Negative thoughts

Many women are used to focus on their troubles. They keep in mind all bad things for long time. Such emotions are contra-indicated in pregnancy as they provoke depressed condition. There is a solution to get rid of this habit: every time you remember a negative memory, replace it with pleasant moments of your life.

6 Lack of initiative and self-control

If woman loses her power to make decisions and the ability to control her extreme emotions, she may easy fall victim to depression symptoms.

7 Social isolation

Women without friends and single mothers are more vulnerable than those with strong family support. If you feel lonely try to understand why it happens to you. Make something to change this situation – buy a pet, join an on-line community, start dance lessons or visit a psychoanalyst.

8 Insufficient physical activity

Sportive women are more resistant to nervous and hormonal changes that take place in pregnancy. Their bodies are trained to support painful sensations. On the contrary, low fitness level lead to higher risk of depression. Read the article to find more on the topic of sport activities for young moms: Postpartum Exercise – 10 Best Workouts Which Will Help You to Fight Depression

9 Lack of faith

Strong belief in divine help and support may protect from falling into depression. That is why it is important to find a spiritual support that will give you the power to drive away negative thoughts.

Try to keep off these 9 habits that may provoke a depressive state. Replace them with new activities, beneficial for you and your child. All your positive efforts will help you to prevent developing of postpartum depression. You will be able to live a more organized and happy life.

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Top 3 Most Effective Non-Medical Solutions For Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum depression is a mental disorder related to pregnancy and childbirth.  It is a medical condition that occurs in the first several months after delivery. Its “light” form is called the “baby blues” and passes after some weeks. The severe form is usually followed by deep melancholy. Besides feeling of sadness or lack of energy women experience a significant loss of interest in their daily activities. They may also suffer from insomnia, irritability, frequent weeping, overwhelmed feelings and fast mood swings. The most severe forms of postnatal depression may cause thoughts about death or suicide. Women feel guilty about the inappropriate behavior and anxiety about harming the baby.

Good news is that today there are lots of drugs for treating mental disorders. They come to help when woman’s condition is too hard to be treated at home. There are also some natural strategies, that may be used by woman herself to ease her state. Let’s see the 3 most effective non-medical solutions that help women all over the world to overcome postpartum depression.

The first way for your recovery is starting postpartum exercise program. It will bring beneficial effects on your mental state, because of hormone named serotonin. It is also called “the hormone of happiness” as its concentration stimulates those parts of our brains, that evoke joy and good mood. Besides of this, you will slim down and destroy at least one of stress factors: your surplus weight.

You may find more about trainings after childbirth in the articles:

Postpartum Exercise – 10 Best Workouts Which Will Help You to Fight Depression
Postpartum Exercise With Baby: Slim Down And Have Fun

Next step that will help you to cope with uncontrolled emotions is talking about them with your family and friends. Speak about your feelings and you will notice posivitive changes in your condition. Besides, you’ll make your thoughts more clear to your natives. Ask them for help in daily tasks. Make a rule to encourage all attempts of your family to take care of child. In such way you will enforce the bond between you and your natives. You will also get time for sufficient rest and for yourself.

A talk therapy with a good psychoanalyst will be useful for you in postnatal period. He will explain to you the changes that come with new baby. You’ll get practical tips on dealing with postpartum depressive emotions.

The third solution is understanding the reasons of your condition. You should realize that it is the common problem of many women in postnatal period. Ask doctors, talk with other moms, look for medical articles and researches. Read as much information as you can about depression in postpartum period. Knowing the fact, that your condition is provoked by hormonal changes, will reduce the severity of depressive thoughts.

There is a wise biblical saying “Love cures everything”. Try to believe that everything will be fine and hope in it. Repeat it every day and your postpartum depression symptoms will go away faster.

5 First Signs Of Developing Postpartum Psychosis You Should Know

Postpartum psychosis is an extremely severe form of depression after childbirth. The reasons of postnatal decline as well as psychosis lie in a woman’s rapid changing of hormones and total reconstruction of her body after delivery. There are also social and emotional causes of these health problems. They include lack of family help and support, violent relationship, low self-esteem and social isolation.

In the article “What is the Postpartum Psychosis: Definition and Symptoms” you will find some examples on this condition.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum Psychosis is a severe mental disorder

Psychosis is not a simple disease.  Last century it was described as a serious mental disorder that needs immediate medical treatment. Luckily it is a rare sickness affecting one or two women per thousand.  It happens with the women who are genetically or psychologically predisposed to it. Women with previous signs of psychosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have an increased risk of developing postpartum psychosis.

The women who have the indications of psychosis are often disapproved and misunderstood by many people. It worsens their problem greatly and leads to more tragic consequences. Sick women need much patience, care and understanding. If some of your acquaintances have the symptoms of this illness, you must know she or he needs immediate help. Call the doctor or ask a professional for consulting.

Five first signs of developing postnatal psychosis are possible to be noticed at once.

The victim of this disease has distorted perception of reality. It includes hallucinations, delusions or strange beliefs. A sick woman may get constant voices in her head. They can comment her actions or even tell her to hurt her or someone else or do something she would never do otherwise.

Another sign of psychosis is paranoia or suspiciousness. Sick women believe they can’t trust people they trusted and always expect some bad things from them.

The third characteristic of this disease is irritation and difficulty in communication. Women having postnatal psychosis get conflict with people around them. They have very rapid mood swings and can’t control them at all.

The fourth indicator of postnatal psychosis is loss of concentration. Women are unable to focus on their house routine and simple work, to find some known place.

Next sign can be hyperactivity with lack of  sleep or full decline of strengths with decreased need for sleep in contrary. In any case everything is extreme.

In the movie “Doctor House” one case was showed very clearly. A man applied to the doctor when his wife slept for very long time, when she woke up, she was often very aggressive. She tried to kill her baby twice. She was hospitalized; her daughter was in another department of the hospital. The sick woman found and killed her under the influence of voices that told the woman about her awful mission. In similar cases women decide to suicide or abandon the family being afraid to harm it. When all signs of this sickness are recognized, a sick person must be treated at once.

There are different ways for treatment of postnatal psychosis. Every sick woman must know she is not alone. She will get good medication, attention and support. With understanding and much care of her family and doctors she will get better very soon.

The first step to recovery is self realizing what is happening to a person and his wish to be cured. Unfortunately there are people, who don’t know the reason of their hallucination. They take them for some divine omens. If such patients don’t consider they are sick and don’t want to get any treatment, it is a big problem for their family. That’s why the main step in recognizing and treating of postpartum psychosis is talk therapy led by professional psychologists.

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How To Take Postpartum Depression Drugs If You Are A Breastfeeding Mom

The issue of postpartum depression is the most obscure in neonatal researches. The severe physical and psychological symptoms of this condition in breastfeeding mothers should be treated. It is not the “baby blues” which many women have in the first several weeks after delivery. With the blues, you may have trouble sleeping and feel a little bit moody, tired and overwhelmed. But you still feel happy about your baby.

The symptoms of postnatal depression can last for months. They include the feeling of deep sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and rapid changes of mood. You can be very irritated, lose your libido and  pleasure in every day things.

The complicated process of childbirth requires great reconstruction of your body and big changes in hormone levels. In the article What Causes Postpartum Depression? you will find the list of factors that may develop postpartum depression. The good news is that this condition is treatable and has favourable outcome statistics.

Breastfeeding mothers often refuse taking any drugs because they worry about the negative effects of the medications on their babies. In the article: Is There a Link Between Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding? you will know how are correlated these two conditions.

So, let’s find the answer to the question “how to take postpartum depression drugs if you are a breastfeeding mom?”

First of all, you should know that the sooner you start treating, the quicker you will feel better and enjoy your role of mother. Antidepressants and sedative drugs relieve the worst symptoms of depressive state.

Many physicians think that a depressed mother brings a greater danger for her baby than low-level medication doses.  If woman develops a severe form of depression, doctor may suggest to stop breastfeeding temporarily while taking drugs. However, there is a range of antidepressants that can be taken by a breastfeeding mother. They are safer than antivirus medicines and antibiotics prescribed to treat cold. Discuss all options with your doctor and pediatrician. Every nursing mother must be aware of all risks and benefits of certain medications before agreeing to take one while nursing.

If you don’t have very bad symptoms, try to minimize the dose of medication. Check other ways for your recovery. Do little steps that will help you to overcome postpartum depression: avoid stress and get as much rest as you can. Find support in the members of your family and friends. Don’t be shy and ask them for help. Meet other moms and discuss together about your condition. Socialize and spoil yourself with something pleasant – like shopping or cinema.

How to Recognize Panic Attack Symptoms? Are They Dangerous?

Today more and more people start experiencing some or the other panic attack symptoms. Some people become overwhelmed by fear of the crowd, while others are afraid of solitude. People experience panic attacks at all kinds of setting. These experiences are very unpleasant and those who’ve had them begin dreading them. Knowledge about such symptoms may help you to discern them in others or in yourself and provide adequate and timely help.

Most panic attack symptoms may be very alarming and some of them may even seem life threatening. In reality panic attacks do not hold any real threat for your life. If you are a young mom and you experience panic, then it will be usefull for you to know How to Deal With Postpartum Anxiety? and to Test Yourself With the Postpartum Depression Quiz. 5 Simple Questions

Panic attack symptoms

Panic attack symptoms exhaust immune system

Common panic signs:

– A sense of danger and intense fear
Rapidly you may start feeling trapped or endangered by something. In all cases with panic attacks there is no real threat present. You become afraid of things you imagine or of situations, which do not hold any real danger for your life or health.

– Increased heart rate
You may believe, you are having a heart attack, you when experience this symptom. Your heart race may become very intense. You may feel as if your heart would jump out of your chest.

– Dizziness
You start feeling weak and dizzy during a panic attack. Together with two other above listed symptoms dizziness makes people believe they are dying.

– Headache
Panic assault may be rapid and accompanied by severe headache.

– Chills or hot flashes
They may come in combination. You feel cold and then all of a sudden, you sense heat flashing through your body.

– Fast breathing
All such things as fast and shallow breathing, as well as increased heart rate and cold hands are the symptoms of fight or flight reaction. This reaction gets triggered by the special tonsil in your brain. It gets turned on automatically and subconsciously, as this tonsil is a part of what is called “primitive brain”. Fast breathing leads to hyperventilation of your lungs and to dizziness.

– Nausea
This is another one of panic attack signs. Suddenly, you become very conscious of your stomach. It feels, as if you had a cramp in it.

– Sweating and trembling
That is when you feel, as if you have lost all control over your body. You start shaking and sweat excessively. It is one of those moments in life, when you think it’s over. You feel high level discomfort and anxiety.

As you may see, all these panic attack symptoms are not pleasant, but none of them is life threatening. Understanding their nature would help you to cope better with them or to provide adequate help to others. This list of symptoms is not complete, though. In the video below you may found the simple method of controlling your panic and scare:

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How to Deal With Postpartum Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal reaction, triggered by our bodies in complicated or dangerous situations. However, postpartum anxiety has nothing to do with the normal state of things. It is a type of anxiety disorder, experienced by women after childbirth. Let us take a look at what are causes of agitation and nervousness and how to deal with this condition.

As any type of uneasiness, anxiety in postpartum period triggers a number of physical reactions in our bodies. Here are some of them: you may get an increased heart rate, muscle strain, fishy feeling in your hands, cold hands and feet, etc. Anxiety triggers our flight or fight reaction, so we either become overly agitated and aggressive, or we get panic attacks symptoms and feel paralyzed and unable to take any action.

Postpartum anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is a real disease, which must be treated

That is exactly what many young mothers report to experience dealing with anxiety after parturition. Many of them get panic attacks and become really unable to take adequate care of themselves or their babies. This nervous disorder is a real disease, which has to get adequate medical treatment. It is not some character weakness and the person is not to blame for it. Sometimes such condition is a sign of hidden postpartum depression. So, it is very important to recognize and to treat it as soon as possible.

Now, how do you deal with postpartum anxiety?  The first step to do is to evaluate the severity of your condition. This cannot be done by you or your family. You have to consult your doctor and go through some tests.

The next step is to relax and get some rest. You need to master few useful relaxation techniques to learn how to cope with your anxious thoughts. And, you certainly need your family help to do that, because you need time to spend on your relaxation and rest. Ask for help and get someone to stay with your baby, while you get some rest. You may use various breathing relaxation or muscle relaxation techniques to overcome your agitation after childbirth.

Attending a support group is another great way to deal with your anxiety. There you realize that you are not alone with such a problem. And, you get the social support and understanding you desperately need. Make time to attend such groups. There you can express your emotions more freely and get the support.

Finally, you have to get on a healthy diet to overcome your nervousness. Reduce the quantity of stimulators, such as tea or coffee, you consume. Cut down the amount of fatty or sugary foods in your diet. Replace them with veggies and fruits. And, drink up enough water to flush your body and rid it of toxins. Read more on proper food plan for you in the article “Postpartum diet – What is the best diet plan for young moms?

All these simple steps can significantly ease your postpartum anxiety symptoms and condition. You always get a better result by combining them all together and following your doctor’s recommendations.

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Depression Help Strategies – 4 Important Habits That Really Work

Today depression is no longer considered to be a character fault or weakness. People realize that it is a medical condition and depression help is something you should get, if you are coping with this disorder. So, let us take a look at some of the coping strategies you can resort to for combating this foe.

Forming new habits

Depression help

Socializing and physical activity are great depression help methods

One of the best things you can do, if you have been diagnosed or self diagnosed with depression, is to form new and healthy habits in your life. There is a good chance that your condition is caused by some unhealthy habits you have developed. These might be unhealthy eating habits or lack of movement and workout in your life. Anyway, it’s about time to change things. In case you cope with postpartum depression, you should understand, that it influences physical development, emotional stability and growth of your child. If not treated, depression in postpartum period can bring unwanted consequences both for mother and baby. You can found more facts in the special topic How postpartum depression influences the newborn?

Eating habits

Of course, depressive state makes it hard to change things or to achieve. Still, it is possible, if you make small steps towards your goal.  Do not plan big changes, hoping to achieve them in no time. That won’t work. Plan to take a series of small steps in changing your eating habits.

First, make a list of healthy and happy foods. Remember, your goal is not to shed pounds. Even though, it might be desirable in some cases. Still, no need to get on ‘bread and water’ or on a low calorie postpartum diet.  Your goal is to acquire healthy eating habits. So, form a list of enjoyable and healthy foods. Make a shopping list accordingly to help you buy only healthy foods in a store and avoid unhealthy ones. By eating healthy, you help your body to restore itself and to help you cope with the bad mood and sad thoughts. This is one of the depression help strategies to resort to.

Activity habits

Often times, depressive state immobilizes you both in your social and in your physical life.  This means, that getting active can help you to combat passivity. It might be hard, but very efficient. Again, take small steps and do not aim for big things. Plan a small physical activity, such as half an hour of walking in a park or jogging. You won’t be able to enjoy those walks right away. But, with a time, you’ll learn to like them and even love them. If you can make yourself walk or jog daily for at least three weeks, you can come to love it.


As a rule, depression drives you to isolation. So, starting socializing in new ways may be a good strategy to combat it. Try to find new interests in life. Join a church. Find a new hobby and join a local group of people, who love the same thing, too. Socializing with people, who love what they do is contagious and encouraging.

Hopefully, these strategies for depression help would head you in the right direction and help you to cope with this condition.

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Beck Depression Inventory – Learn About This Method of Depression Diagnose

Measurement and diagnosing are the two essential things to deal with, when it goes about depression. That is exactly where Beck Depression Inventory comes in. BDI is a tool used by many doctors to diagnose depression and its stage. Let us take a look at what this depression diagnose method is and how it works.

First self report inventory came on the scene in 1961. It was introduced by Aaron T Beck. Obviously, that is where it has gotten its name.  1961 was the first year of BDI edition. Later on there followed two more of them. They took place in 1978 and 1996.

How does Beck Depression Inventory work?

Beck Depression Inventory

Beck Depression Inventory provides valuable information on patients’ condition

It’s a pretty easy and comprehensive tool to use in diagnosing depression. It is a set of 21 questions. A person with suspected depression takes this questionnaire. All the 21 questions have 4 versions of answers to pick from.

All the questions and answers are aimed at figuring out the current mental state of the patient. Of course, you have to do your best to answer the questions and answer them truthfully. Mostly, these questions cover a range of feelings or thoughts you had over the last week.

Each of your answers corresponds to a certain score. Once you are finished with  test questions, your doctor counts up the total score. As this test is aimed at figuring out depression intensity, it goes to a table of scores relevant to various stages of depression.

Why should you take a postpartum depression quiz?

The major reason to take a test is your doctor’s recommendation. Getting the right diagnosis is the key thing about treating depression. That is true for all types of treatment. Taking BDI may help your doctor to get a clearer idea on what kind of depression you have and what sort of treatment it demands.

In most cases, your doctor may prescribe you antidepressants to ease your clinical depression. Combined with psychotherapy they may help to produce faster and more significant treatment results.

On the other hand, you may suspect depression, but your condition may be caused by some other factors, such as other diseases. In this case, taking a inventory test is also highly beneficial. It may help to eliminate depression and direct doctors in to taking more tests and setting the right diagnose.

Another one of the BDI benefits is that this tool allows assessing progress of your depression condition. Taking this test once in a while you can see, if your depression is getting deeper or you gradually get well. Again, it offers a great tool for doctors to base the treatment decisions.

As you may see, Beck Depression Inventory has gone through the test of years of successful application. It provides valuable information on patients’ condition and depression severity.

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How Postpartum Depression Influences the Newborn?

The sad side of postpartum depression is that it significantly affects both mothers and their children. It influences physical development, emotional stability and growth, and the strength of the bond between the mother and her baby. Besides, depression symptoms can greatly affect the interpersonal relationships between the mothers and babies. These negative effects may last for years. So, let us take a look at some of the possible influences of depressive condition on newborn.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression decrease the ability of women to care for their children

As it was already mentioned, postpartum depressive disorder in mothers affects their perception of the babies. Depressed mothers tend to view their babies as “difficult”. This perception does not go away through postpartum depression treatment or even when the depression is over. This means that even years later a mother may view her child as a troublesome kid and this directly affects their behavior and relationships.

When a mother views her newborn as a ‘fussy’ baby, the child is sort of gets preprogrammed to behave this way. Then s/he grows up into a fussy toddler, child or teenager. So, as you may see, the complications of PPD may last for years and cause trouble for many families. Such consequences may ruin family relationships.

Another immediate effect of postpartum depression on a newborn is making them cry. Babies stay very much tuned to their mothers. They perceive the mood swings and downcast moods of their mothers and mirror their emotions. This, in certain measure, oppresses their emotional and cognitive development.

All babies look for life and security in their mothers. However, depressive condition may significantly decrease the ability of women to care for their children. Consequently, the level of tenderness, security and care, received by the newborn also decrease. This affects their ability to form a positive bond with their mothers and slows down their development.

Another problem evoked by the mother’s depression in a newborn is fear. Experiencing the mother’s negative emotions, the baby learns to react negatively and experience fear. This reaction may become prevalent and oppress child’s development and ability to learn.

Besides the emotional or cognitive side effects on a newborn, depressive moods in postpartum period can also have some health effects on the babies. Their emotional stress and sense of isolation from the mother may lead to a weaker immune system and more frequent diseases, such as ARD.

So, as you may see, untreated depression in women may have some serious physical and emotional consequences both for mothers and their newborn babies. Eventually, if not treated timely, it may develop into a postpartum psychosis and lead to some grave consequences up to suicide or infanticide. That is why all the family members of new mothers should stay alert and help them to get timely diagnosed and receive adequate help and treatment for their postpartum depression condition.

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