What to Do When the Baby Blues Turns to Postpartum Depression

The feelings mothers and fathers have upon seeing their newly born baby are almost impossible to express. The pride and joy have been the subjects of poems and songs and yet neither do justice to the emotions experienced by the birth of this sweet little person. Unfortunately, the joy often turns to sadness for some new mothers when the baby blues take over.

“There are many reasons for postpartum depression,” noted BioTE founder and medical director, Dr. Gary Donovitz. “Some are based on pre-existing psychological factors, but the condition is often based on hormonal imbalance and it can be corrected medically.”

This condition can happen to any new mother, including the rich and famous. In fact, the prevalence of postpartum depression has been amplified by the many well-known mothers who have experienced the condition. In 2005, actress Brooke Shields brought the subject to the attention of mothers everywhere with the publishing of her book: Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.

When well-known celebrities such as Ms. Shields come forward and share their personal story, it encourages others, who might feel embarrassment or shame, to admit that they too have experienced this extreme sadness after childbirth. Actress Amanda Peet experienced this condition in 2008 after the birth of her daughter Frankie.

Six months after the birth of her daughter Coco, comedic actress Courteney Cox couldn’t sleep and had other symptoms of postpartum depression. Singer Marie Osmond also shared her experiences with her book Behind the Smile: My Journey out of Postpartum Depression. Other celebrity moms who publicly discussed their struggle with this condition include: Bryce Dallas Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Carnie Wilson, Lisa Rinna and, no doubt, many others who suffered in private.

Almost One Million Mothers a Year are Affected

According to the non-profit organization Postpartum Progress, there are more women suffering from this condition than sprain their ankles or suffer a stroke. The organization estimates that each year more than 950,000 women in the U.S. experience postpartum depression. They based this number on statistics presented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2008 PRAMS research.

The National Institute of Health notes that most cases of “baby blues” are not severe and in these circumstances the symptoms go away within a few days after birth. However, postpartum depression can cause “feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness and a loss of interest in the baby.” The federal health agency notes these feelings can progress to where mothers can have thoughts of hurting themselves or their child.

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

“After delivery, hormones in the new mother can change dramatically,” notes Dr. Donovitz. “They can go from very high levels of progesterone to very low levels. Testosterone levels can also drop precipitously. This change in hormone balance can lead to postpartum depression,” he said.

“By using natural hormone pellets, we can optimize the hormones in the new mother’s system,” he said. “This allows us to mitigate the symptoms without resorting to anti-depression drugs which can lead to chemical dependence.”

“New mothers have gained weight, which they want to lose,” Dr. Donovitz points out. “And they have low sex drive which further exacerbates their feelings of inadequacy. Hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate both of these conditions and this helps the mother to overcome postpartum depression. Plus, with BioTE hormone replacement therapy, a new mother can breastfeed her child with no concern,” he said.

Not every new mother experiences postpartum depression. What factors determine who experiences this condition and who doesn’t?

“Not everyone experiences the precipitous drop in hormones,” he said. “On the other hand, some mothers have pre-existing anxiety issues and this can lead to postpartum depression. Multiple births (twins, triplets) tend to cause this condition as well,” he said.

“This condition can continue for months after the birth event,” Dr. Donovitz said. “If postpartum depression is not checked it can turn into chronic anxiety disorder. We recommend the hormone optimization continue until the condition subsides.”

“Getting the pellets saved my life.”

Mothers who experience postpartum depression can wrestle with feelings they never thought they would have to deal with. While they are often unable to express their unthinkable urges, one BioTE patient who underwent the natural hormone replacement therapy expressed her heartfelt thanks for its effect on her.

(In respect for her privacy, we have not identified this patient)

“The thing that scared me the most about this depression was that it rendered me unable to love and care for my children like I wanted to. I was pretty much powerless to overcome these feelings. Getting the pellets saved my life.”

Article Source: “What to Do When the Baby Blues Turns to Postpartum Depression” bioET Medical. Tues.  November 4, 2014

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