Home | Articles | How Long Does Postpartum Depression Can Last

By Dr.Soumya
Obstetrics and Gynecologist
Published on 06/09/2022

Did you know that post-pregnancy can also cause a condition where you feel sad and depressed about everything?

This is Condition is called PPD - Postpartum Depression. This article discusses postpartum conditions and its related phases. Read to learn more in-depth

What is Postpartum Depression?

PPD (Postpartum Depression) is a combination of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that some women may experience after giving birth. PPD is a condition that occurs within four weeks of birth.

If pregnancy is an emotional roller coaster, the postpartum period is an emotional tornado, with mood swings, irritation, and emotional breakdown. Giving birth not only causes drastic hormonal changes in the body but also has an effect on the mind.

PPD can initially result in feelings of sadness, stress, and anxiety rather than the joy and elation you were hoping for. Many women experience these "baby blues" as a normal part of postpartum recovery, but they usually pass within 1–2 weeks of delivery.

However, new mothers who continue to struggle even after the 2-weeks post Pregnancy may be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD), which is a medical condition.

When does postpartum depression usually begin?

PPD can start as soon as you give birth, but you may not notice it immediately after giving birth because it is normal to feel sad, and exhausted in the first few days after giving birth. It may take some time after the typical baby blue period has passed before you realise something more serious is going on.

The postpartum period can be in the first 4–6 weeks after birth, and many cases of PPD begin during this time. However, PPD can occur during pregnancy and last up to a year after giving birth, so don't dismiss your feelings if they occur outside of the typical postpartum period.

How long PPD usually lasts

There is no particular duration of occurrence of PPD because it can appear anywhere from a few weeks to 12 months after birth. According to a Study, PPD symptoms improve over time, with many cases of depression resolving 3 to 6 months after they begin.However, many women may continue to experience PPD symptoms even six months after giving birth.

The following can be the risk factors:

  • Depression or other mental illness
  • Breastfeeding complications
  • A difficult pregnancy or delivery
  • Less support from your partner, family, or friends
  • Other significant life changes that occur during the postpartum period
  • A previous pregnancy that resulted in PPD.

There is no way to predict the possibility of PPD after pregnancy in a woman, or how long it will last. One can find relief with the right treatment, especially if it is treated early.

How it affects

PPD can cause you some distressing symptoms, and irritation, and it may also affect your relationships. It's not your fault. That is why it is a good reason to seek treatment and reduce the length of your depression.

Asking for assistance is beneficial to both you and your relationships, including :

Your partner: Your relationship with your partner may suffer if you become distant or isolated and in this way it affects your relationship.

Your family, relatives, and friends: Others in the family could realise something is amiss or think you aren't acting like yourself, but they might not know how to help or interact with you. As a result of this distance, you can feel more alone than usual.

Your kids: PPD can have an impact on your developing relationship with your child. Besides influencing how you physically care for your baby, PPD can also influence how you bond with your baby after birth. It could also harm your existing relationships with older children.

PPD may even have long-term effects on a child's social and emotional development.

When to contact a doctor

In case you aren't feeling better after two weeks post delivery , contact your doctor. You will be screened for PPD at your 6-week postpartum appointment. If you're still having negative feelings after two weeks, it's probably not the "baby blues."

If you have the same signs or symptoms you might be suffering from Postpartum Depression seek help right now!

Contact us now, we at Medicover hospitals have the best doctors and mental health experts who provide you the right treatment and therapy for your conditions.

We understand how difficult it is to discuss the negative emotions associated with new parenthood, and how frightening it can be to reveal just how much you are struggling. The more you share about your PPD,the better and faster care your Healthcare provider will be able to help you.

Treatment

You cannot overcome PPD on your own; you must seek medical and mental health treatment. If you get it quickly, you'll be able to care for yourself and your baby to the best of your ability.

There are many PPD treatment alternatives, therefore you might need to use a Treatment Combination. There are also lifestyle changes that may fasten recovery. Don't give up until you've found a treatment combination that works for you. With the right interventions, PPD can be alleviated.

Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression- To treat your depression, your doctor may prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Your doctor will help you to treat your symptoms effectively while causing the fewest side effects. Many SSRIs are compatible with breastfeeding; however, inform your provider if you are nursing to prescribe the appropriate medication and dosage.

Guidance- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment for depression, including PPD symptoms.

Therapy communities- It might be beneficial for you to share your experiences with other parents who have suffered from PPD. Whether in person or online, finding a support group can be beneficial. Try searching by state to find a PPD support group in your area.

Faqs

1) How long is the postpartum stage?

The postpartum stage starts immediately after birth and lasts for typically one month or two months, and can go upto 100 days.

2) How long do mood swings after birth last?

Most new mothers experience postpartum baby blues after giving birth, which includes mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin two to three days after delivery and can last up to two weeks.

3) How long does it take your body to fully recover from pregnancy?

It can take months to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth. While many women feel mostly recovered within 6-8 weeks, it may take longer to get back to their normal self.You may feel negative and sad during this time. Try not to become irritated.

4) Can childbirth trigger mental illness?

Unwanted pregnancy has been proposed as a possible risk of first-time psychiatric episodes associated with childbirth.

5) What should you not do after delivery?

Avoid drinking alcohol, and irrational use of drugs. All of these things can create a negative impact on your mood and make you feel worse. They can also make it difficult for you to care for your child. Take assistance from your partner, family, and friends.