What causes postpartum depression?
Hormone changes following birth may play a role.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is not a personal failure or a reflection of a woman’s skills as a mother. While the exact cause of PPD is unknown, changes in reproductive hormones may be a factor. During pregnancy, the levels of these hormones rise dramatically. After a woman gives birth, most hormone levels return to prepregnancy levels within 1 to 2 weeks. These changes may put some women at risk for developing PPD.
Common sources of stress:
- The new responsibilities of motherhood
- Financial difficulties
- Relationship or marital problems
- Loss of a job
- Death of a loved one
If PPD happens, be prepared.
Just as you tell your doctor about physical changes during your pregnancy, it is important to also be open about any mood changes you might experience. Sharing your feelings with your healthcare provider during pregnancy and after giving birth can help prepare you for the possibility of PPD.