Postpartum Depression Help Santa Monica California
Postpartum Depression Help in Santa Monica California Call 1 800 920 0016
Are you feeling anxious, withdrawn, or depressed? Do you live in the Santa Monica California Area?
It’s not your fault
Postpartum Depression is a biological complication of pregnancy.
Symptoms can be severe and should not long-term.
The Hummingbird Study is a research study evaluating an investigational medication in women with moderate to severe postpartum depression.
You May Qualify to Participate if you:
Are between 18 to 45 years old
Gave birth within the last 6 months
Frequently feel extremely sad, anxious, or overwhelmed and these symptoms are associated with postpartum depression.
IF YOU QUALIFY AND DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE, YOU WILL RECEIVE:
Study-related care during the 3-day, in-patient period
All study-related care medical care and medication at no cost
All Transportation is provided if needed
For more information, please call Ventura Clinical Trials at 1 800 920 0016
Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes. Symptoms may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns. Onset is typically between one week and one month following childbirth. PPD can also negatively affect the newborn child.
While the exact cause of PPD is unclear, the cause is believed to be a combination of physical and emotional factors. These may include factors such as hormonal changes and sleep deprivation. Risk factors include prior episodes of postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, a family history of depression, psychological stress, complications of childbirth, lack of support, or a drug use disorder. Diagnosis is based on a person’s symptoms. While most women experience a brief period of worry or unhappiness after delivery, postpartum depression should be suspected when symptoms are severe and last over two weeks.
Among those at risk, providing psychosocial support may be protective in preventing PPD. Treatment for PPD may include counseling or medications. Types of counseling that have been found to be effective include interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and psychodynamic therapy. Tentative evidence supports the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Postpartum depression affects about 15% of women around childbirth. Moreover, this mood disorder is estimated to affect 1% to 26% of new fathers. Postpartum psychosis, a more severe form of postpartum mood disorder, occurs in about 1 to 2 per 1,000 women following childbirth. Postpartum psychosis is one of the leading causes of the murder of children less than one year of age, which occurs in about 8 per 100,000 births in the United States.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of PPD can occur at any time in the first year postpartum. Typically, a diagnosis of postpartum depression is considered after signs and symptoms persist for at least two weeks. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Persistent sadness, anxiousness or “empty” mood
- Severe mood swings
- Frustration, irritability, restlessness, anger
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Guilt, shame, worthlessness
- Low self-esteem
- Numbness, emptiness
- Inability to be comforted
- Trouble bonding with the baby
- Feeling inadequate in taking care of the baby
- Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities
- Low or no energy
- Low libido
- Changes in appetite
- Fatigue decreased energy and motivation
- Poor self-care
- Social withdrawal
- Insomnia or excessive sleep
- Diminished ability to make decisions and think clearly
- Lack of concentration and poor memory
- Fear that you can not care for the baby or fear of the baby
- Worry about harming self, baby, or partner
Onset and duration
Postpartum depression onset usually begins between two weeks to a month after delivery. A study done at an inner-city mental health clinic has shown that 50% of postpartum depressive episodes there began prior to delivery. Therefore, in the DSM-5 postpartum depression is diagnosed under “depressive disorder with peripartum onset”, in which “peripartum onset” is defined as any time either during pregnancy or within the four weeks following delivery. PPD may last several months or even a year. Postpartum depression can also occur in women who have suffered a miscarriage. For fathers, several studies show that men experience the highest levels of postpartum depression between 3–6 months postpartum.
Postpartum depression can interfere with normal maternal-infant bonding and adversely affect acute and longterm child development. Postpartum depression may lead mothers to be inconsistent with childcare. These childcare inconsistencies may include feeding routines, sleep routines, and health maintenance.
In rare cases or about 1 to 2 per 1,000, the postpartum depression appears as postpartum psychosis. In these, or among women with a history of previous psychiatric hospital admissions, infanticide may occur. In the United States, postpartum depression is one of the leading causes of annual reported infanticide incidence rate of about 8 per 100,000 births.
The cause of PPD is not well understood. Hormonal changes, genetics, and major life events have been hypothesized as potential causes.
Fathers, who are not undergoing profound hormonal changes, can also have postpartum depression. The cause may be distinct in males.
Profound lifestyle changes that are brought about by caring for the infant are also frequently hypothesized to cause PPD. However, little evidence supports this hypothesis. Mothers who have had several previous children without suffering PPD can nonetheless suffer it with their latest child. Despite the biological and psychosocial changes that may accompany pregnancy and the postpartum period, most women are not diagnosed with PPD.
While the causes of PPD are not understood, a number of factors have been suggested to increase the risk:
- Prenatal depression or anxiety
- A personal or family history of depression.
- Moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms.
- Stressful life events experienced during pregnancy
- Maternity blues
- Birth-related psychological trauma
- Previous stillbirth or miscarriage
- Formula-feeding rather than breastfeeding
- Cigarette smoking
- Low self-esteem
- Childcare or life stress
- Low social support
- Poor marital relationship or single marital status
- Low socioeconomic status
- Infant temperament problems/colic
- Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
- Elevated prolactin levels
- Oxytocin depletion
Of these risk factors, formula-feeding, a history of depression, and cigarette smoking have been shown to have additive effects. Some studies have found a link with low levels of DHA in the mother.
These above factors are known to correlate with PPD. This correlation does not mean these factors are causal. Rather, they might both be caused by some third factor. Contrastingly, some factors almost certainly attribute to the cause of postpartum depression, such as lack of social support.
Not surprisingly, women with fewer resources indicate a higher level of postpartum depression and stress than those women with more resources, such as financial. Rates of PPD have been shown to decrease as income increases. Women with fewer resources may be more likely to have an unintended or unwanted pregnancy, increasing the risk of PPD. Women with fewer resources may also include single mothers of low income. Single mothers of low income may have more limited access to resources while transitioning into motherhood.
Studies have also shown a correlation between a mother’s race and postpartum depression. African American mothers have been shown to have the highest risk of PPD at 25%, while Asian mothers had the lowest at 11.5%, after controlling for social factors such as age, income, education, marital status, and baby’s health. The PPD rates for First Nations, Caucasian and Hispanic women fell in between.
One of the strongest predictors of paternal PPD is having a partner who has PPD, with fathers developing PPD 50% of the time when their female partner has PPD.
Sexual orientation has also been studied as a risk factor for PPD. In a 2007 study conducted by Ross and colleagues, lesbian and bisexual mothers were tested for PPD and then compared with a heterosexual sample group. It was found that lesbian and bisexual biological mothers had significantly higher Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scores than did the heterosexual women in the sample. These higher rates of PPD in lesbian/bisexual mothers may reflect less social support, particularly from their families of origin and additional stress due to homophobic discrimination in society.
A correlation between postpartum thyroiditis and postpartum depression has been proposed but remains controversial. There may also be a link between postpartum depression and anti-thyroid antibodies.
A meta-analysis reviewing research on the association of violence and postpartum depression showed that violence against women increases the incidence of postpartum depression. About one-third of women throughout the world will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Violence against women occurs in conflict, post-conflict, and non-conflict areas. It is important to note that the research reviewed only looked at violence experienced by women from male perpetrators, but did not consider violence inflicted on men or women by women. Further, violence against women was defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women”. Psychological and cultural factors associated with increased incidence of postpartum depression include family history of depression, stressful life events during early puberty or pregnancy, anxiety or depression during pregnancy, and low social support. Violence against women is a chronic stressor, so depression may occur when someone is no longer able to respond to the violence.
Postpartum depression in the DSM-5 is known as “depressive disorder with peripartum onset”. Peripartum onset is defined as starting anytime during pregnancy or within the four weeks following delivery. There is no longer a distinction made between depressive episodes that occur during pregnancy or those that occur after delivery. Nevertheless, the majority of experts continue to diagnose postpartum depression as depression with onset anytime within the first year after delivery.
The criteria required for the diagnosis of postpartum depression are the same as those required to make a diagnosis of non-childbirth related major depression or minor depression. The criteria include at least five of the following nine symptoms, within a two-week period
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, nearly every day, for most of the day or the observation of a depressed mood made by others
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Weight loss or decreased appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of restlessness
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Loss of concentration or increased indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death, with or without plans of suicide
Postpartum blues, commonly known as “baby blues,” is a transient postpartum mood disorder characterized by milder depressive symptoms than postpartum depression. This type of depression can occur in up to 80% of all mothers following delivery. Symptoms typically resolve within two weeks. Symptoms lasting longer than two weeks are a sign of a more serious type of depression. Women who experience “baby blues” may have a higher risk of experiencing a more serious episode of depression later on.
Postpartum psychosis is not a formal diagnosis, but is widely used to describe a psychiatric emergency that appears to occur in about 1 in a 1000 pregnancies, in which symptoms of high mood and racing thoughts (mania), depression, severe confusion, loss of inhibition, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions begin suddenly in the first two weeks after delivery; the symptoms vary and can change quickly. It is different from postpartum depression and from maternity blues. It may be a form of bipolar disorder. It is important not to confuse psychosis with other symptoms that may occur after delivery, such as delirium. Delirium typically includes a loss of awareness or inability to pay attention.
About half of women who experience postpartum psychosis have no risk factors; but a prior history of mental illness, especially bipolar disorder, a history of prior episodes of postpartum psychosis, or a family history put some at a higher risk.
Postpartum psychosis often requires hospitalization, where treatment is antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, and in cases of strong risk for suicide, electroconvulsive therapy.
The most severe symptoms last from 2 to 12 weeks, and recovery takes 6 months to a year. Women who have been hospitalized for a psychiatric condition immediately after delivery are at a much higher risk of suicide during the first year after delivery.
In the US, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests healthcare providers consider depression screening for perinatal women. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pediatricians screen mothers for PPD at 1-month, 2-month and 4-month visits. However, many providers do not consistently provide screening and appropriate follow-up. For example, in Canada, Alberta is the only province with universal PPD screening. This screening is carried out by Public Health nurses with the baby’s immunization schedule.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, a standardized self-reported questionnaire, may be used to identify women who have postpartum depression. If the new mother scores 13 or more, she likely has PPD and further assessment should follow.