Postpartum Depression and Hormone Therapy
Postpartum depression is no laughing matter, as the woman affected cannot control the moods due largely in part from the body changes after giving birth. Changes in hormone levels can cause this reaction and the mother will experience postpartum depression to varying degrees. While a woman is pregnant, both progesterone and estrogen are increased greatly. Within the first twenty-four hours after giving birth, these hormones return to their normal levels. This drastic change could be what triggers the depression. When a woman gets her period, this is similar in the mood swings because of the hormone levels.
Hormone therapy will consist of a medication, containing one or more of the female hormones, mainly the progesterone and estrogen, but it is not safe for the baby, if you are breastfeeding, so you must pay careful attention to this and consult you’re the doctor who is supervising your hormone therapy. Hormone therapy, while effective, must be supervised by a qualified care giver as the issue of properly addressing the hormone imbalance is a give or take matter and is very individualized treatment.
Quite often, the thyroid gland in the neck can sometimes drop levels of thyroid hormones after birth, causing postpartum depression. Your doctor can take a blood sample, to tell if this is the basis for the depression. If so, then a hormone treatment can be prescribed.
And don’t forget to address the needs of your body through vitamins and supplements—your body has been taking care of the child in your body since conception, potentially short changing you and then, since birth, it has been doing the same thing if you are breastfeeding.
There are many other reasons for this type of depression. A woman can experience being very tired after her delivery. When you are getting up many times during the night to feed the baby, the sleep patterns are changed and can cause problems. A new baby can be overwhelming, especially the first one. A woman might doubt her ability to be a good mother, as she hears all kinds of advice and can't keep up with it all. The changes in her routine, either at home or at work could cause some depression problems. She might regret having to lose the weight, or thinking she doesn't look attractive anymore and then there is the fact that she hasn't got the free time that she used to have either.
In any case when the root cause is the hormone imbalance then hormone therapy should strongly be considered.
A woman needs lots of encouragement to get over this difficult time, and if that doesn't work, she may need to go on some hormone treatment so she should see her physician. It is very helpful for the new mother to have some time away from her job, so she can receive the care that she needs during this time of adjustment of getting her hormone level back to normal. Her routine is disrupted and her body is also trying to cope with all the changes, plus looking after a newborn, which can be tiring and potentially stressful all by itself.