The divorce rate among couples with children is 40% lower than couples without children. Just because a couple isn’t getting a divorce doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing severe emotional issues after the birth of their child. Postpartum depression — also called postnatal depression — is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can actually affect both sexes. Postpartum depression occurs in nearly 15% of childbirths.
In order to understand postpartum depression, it’s important to know how to identify both potential risk factors and indicators of this disorder.
Though the causes of postpartum depression still have to be researched more, a number of factors have been suggested to increase the risk, including:
- A personal or family history of depression
- Prenatal depression or anxiety
- Stressful life events experienced during pregnancy
- Maternity blues
- Birth-related psychological trauma
- Birth-related physical trauma
- Formula-feeding rather than breastfeeding
- Low self-esteem
- Moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms
- Childcare or life stress
- Low social support
- Low socioeconomic status
- Infant temperament problems/colic
- Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
- Elevated prolactin levels
- Oxytocin depletion — Abstinence-based, non-medical treatments for opiate addiction have a success rate of only 5% to 10%.
- Previous stillbirth or miscarriage
- Cigarette smoking
- Poor marital relationship or single marital status
Here are a few symptoms of postpartum depression:
- Crying a lot
- Having thoughts of hurting the baby
- Having thoughts of hurting yourself
- Having no energy or motivation
- Feeling restless or moody
- Eating too little or too much
- Having trouble focusing or making decisions
- Having memory problems
- Feeling worthless, guilty, or like a bad mother
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
- Not having any interest in the baby, not feeling connected to the baby, or feeling as if your baby is someone else’s baby
- Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away
- Sleeping too little or too much
According to Psychiatry Advisor, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed Zulresso, a treatment for postpartum depression, into Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act.
“The abuse-related neuropharmacology profile of brexanolone is similar to that of schedule IV substances (alprazolam and midazolam) and consistent with its mechanism of action as a positive allosteric modulator of the GABAa receptors,” read the DEA’s report.
Zulresso is an analog of the endogenous human hormone allopregnanolone and is the first treatment of its kind, designed especially for postpartum depression for adults.
For the time being, Zulresso is only available through a restricted program: Zulresso REMS. Under this program, only certified pharmacies and healthcare establishments can dispense this form of treatment. The product is expected to be available wholesale at some point in 2019.