This phenomenon is known as postpartum depression, and it appears in most women, usually between the fourth and tenth day of childbirth. It is important to know that postpartum depression can reappear in the next pregnancy in 50% - 100% of cases. Also, women who are more likely to have depression unrelated to childbirth

For groups most at risk of postpartum depression

There are a group of groups most vulnerable to postpartum depression, as follows:

Women under 20 who do not receive regular medical treatment.

Women who have more than 6 children.

Women who did not receive adequate parental support in adolescence.

Postpartum depression symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum depression appear during the first three months after childbirth. This depression is similar in its symptoms and features to other depressive states that are not related to pregnancy and childbirth. Symptoms of this problem include the following:

Mood deterioration.


Disturbances in appetite and sleep.

Excessive agitation.

Fatigue and lethargy.

Lack of self-esteem and guilt.

Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.

Low mood.

Emotional disturbances.



Negative thoughts about the newborn.Suicidal thoughts in severe cases

Suicidal thoughts in severe cases.

extreme tiredness

Sleep problems (sleeping for a long time or lack of sleep)

Headache and body ache

Decreased interest in sex and other activities

Anxiety or panic attacks

Lack of appetite or overeating

Difficulty doing work

Lack of interest in or irrational concern about the child

Feeling of inability to take care of a child or incompetence as a parent

Guilt about these feelings

Fear of causing harm to a child

Causes and risk factors for postpartum depression

Symptoms of this type of depression are associated with a significant decrease in hormone levels in the body. There are some factors that can be considered as one of the causes of depression, including the following:

Anxiety and stress.

previous depression

Mood changes.



It was present before pregnancy or occurred during pregnancy

Postpartum depression that occurred in a previous pregnancy

Previous episodes of sadness or depression that occurred during certain times of the month (menstruation-related) or when taking oral contraceptives

First-degree relatives with depression (family history)

Psychological distress, such as marital problems, unemployed partner, financial difficulties, or lack of a partner

Lack of support from a partner or family member

Pregnancy-related problems (such as being born prematurely or having a baby with birth defects)

ambivalence about the current pregnancy (eg because it was not planned or because the woman has considered termination of the pregnancy)

Breastfeeding problems

It is important to know that there is no relationship between postpartum depression and the educational or cultural level, gender of the baby, breastfeeding, method of delivery, and whether the pregnancy is planned or not.

Postpartum depression complications

Postpartum depression may cause many diseases, such as the following:

Psychosis (Postpartum psychosis).


Manic Depressive Psychosis.

Diagnosis of postpartum depression

Diagnosis of this case is based on having a conversation with the woman and clarifying her feelings towards herself and the baby. The medical team uses a questionnaire to collect information and find out many things that indicate the following:

Thoughts about self-harm.



Inability to enjoy daily activities.


Disruption of daily functioning at home.

Difficulty communicating with people and the environment

Postpartum depression treatment

Postpartum depression is treated by various psychiatric drugs, where the drug is selected according to the side effects, and whether the mother is breastfeeding or not.

It is important to know that all antidepressants pass into breast milk, so this point must be taken into account.

It is recommended to start with half the usual dose and then gradually increase it, and the medication should be continued for 6 months to prevent depression from occurring again, but if the treatment does not respond within 6 months, it is advised to go to the psychiatrist for consultation.

A specialist doctor should be consulted to determine the appropriate treatment for the patient’s condition, which may include the following:

Taking some medications: These include Sertraline, which is a drug recommended during breastfeeding, as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Electroconvulsive treatment: The chances of recovery are high, as the patient’s condition improves within 2-3 months.

Natural remedies for postpartum depression

Bright light therapy is another useful tool that has been studied in prenatal and postpartum depression. Although conclusions for the postpartum period are limited due to the small sample size, this treatment may show positive effects on mood due to its efficacy for both seasonal and non-seasonal depression. Exposure to light for 30 to 60 minutes once daily is recommended.

Exercise is another great way to improve mood and relieve symptoms of postpartum depression. Moderate physical activity has been shown to increase energy and improve mood. Some exercise classes encourage you to bring your baby with you to strengthen your bond with the baby while putting a sweat workout session into your busy schedule as a new mom. Hiking with the baby in a stroller or hiking with the baby in a carrier are two other ways to do some exercises

Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids

Additionally, vitamin D and omega-3 supplements have been shown to have beneficial antidepressant effects. Some studies have shown that higher levels of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid in breast milk are associated with higher rates of postpartum depression. Although the exact role of vitamin D in postpartum depression remains unclear, there is a link between them and vitamin D supplementation appears to increase prevention.