What causes postpartum depression (PPD)?
Hormone changes following birth may play a role.
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
Empower yourself by expressing your feelings.
Just as you tell your doctor about physical changes during your pregnancy, you should also be open about any mood changes you might experience. Openly discussing your feelings during your pregnancy or after your baby is born is one way to be prepared for PPD.