Postpartum period is the first 6 weeks after childbirth. During this time, your body begins to heal and return to pre pregnancy state. Your body goes through many changes, emotional / physical as you recover. This is also the time to set up a routine for baby care.

Your doctor will see you in 2-6 weeks after delivery for a routine postpartum visit to check how you are recovering from childbirth and how you are doing emotionally.  For patients who had cesarean section, usually a visit in 7-10 days after delivery is arranged to check the incision and make sure there is no signs of infection. You are at the same time assessed for any signs of postpartum depression.

Postpartum Blues

Few days after delivery, some moms begins to feel depressed, anxious and upset. They may also have trouble sleeping, eating, cry for no reasons, question themselves if they can handle caring for the baby.  These are often called postpartum blues.  This may come and go in the first few days after childbirth. Postpartum blues usually gets better within 1-2 weeks without the need for any treatment.

Postpartum Depression

Women with postpartum depression usually have intense feelings of sadness, anxiety or despair that prevents them from doing their daily tasks. It can occur up to 1 year after having a baby but commonly starts 1-3 weeks after childbirth.

Postpartum depression is caused by combination of factors which includes:

–     Changes in hormone levels – levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease sharply in the hours after childbirth, these may trigger depression in the same that smaller changes in the hormones that triggers mood swings and tension before menstrual period.

–     History of depression

–     Emotional factors

–     Fatigue

–     Lifestyle factors

Postpartum depression can be treated with medication called antidepressants.  Talk therapy is also used to treat depression, often in combination with medications.

Antidepressants are medications that work to balance the chemicals in the brain that controls moods.