Postpartum Depression; Complications and Treatment

Postpartum depression requires medical attention to prevent complications that can affect physical and mental health. It hinders the development of the child. The complications associated with postpartum depression are:

  • Chronic Depression: The mother needs medications to manage the symptoms of postpartum depression, or else it can lead to chronic depression. Mothers suffering from depression fail to nurture their children and function adequately in daily life. Individuals exhibiting signs of depression have poor health and quality of life.
  • Affects the Development of the Child: Unstable caregivers fail to nurture the child. The lack of emotional detachment of the mother causes hindrance in the cognitive and social development of the child. The child learns from the primary caregiver; however, without support from the father figure, the child is more likely to have behavioral issues in later years. Thus, the people at home need to provide a safe environment for a child’s emotional, physical, and cognitive development.
  • Relationship Problems: Women suffering from postpartum depression are more likely to suffer from difficulty maintaining intimate relationships. The anxiety and depression cause the mother to remain idol throughout the day. She struggles to maintain healthy dietary intake, sleep cycle, and hygiene, which affects her sexual relationship with her partner. Therefore, partners/husbands should provide emotional support to help them heal and return to normal routines.
  • Suicidal Tendency: Lack of emotional, financial, and social support, women suffering from postpartum depression are at a higher risk of having suicidal ideations. Hopelessness causes further instability in the mood, feelings, and behavior. Thus, partners must remain supportive throughout the transitioning period to improve the health and functioning of the mother.

Postpartum depression


Women exhibiting postpartum depression signs should consult a psychiatrist. The specialist will conduct a psychological assessment and diagnose the illness based on the DSM-5 criteria. The specialist will ask about the behavior of the client and discuss them with the family members to evaluate the severity of the condition. Timely treatment allows the individual to opt for a suitable treatment for a smooth recovery without further complications.

Effective Treatment Options

Postpartum depression treatment requires the patient to take medication and undergo psychotherapy. Combinational use is proven effective in managing the symptoms and smooth recovery.

  • Psychotherapy: The therapy aims to help the individual understand their feelings and the cause of the behavior. The awareness enables the client to modify their behavior by looking into the positive aspects of motherhood.
  • Family Counseling: The arrival of newborns changes the family dynamics. Husbands/partners should take equal financial, social, and emotional responsibility. The therapy aims to help family members understand their roles and responsibilities. It is necessary to support the mother and allow her to practice self-care to become happy and highly functional in every aspect of life.
  • Use of Antidepressants: Medication allows the patient to manage the symptoms of depression. It helps the person overcome anxiety. However, the use of antidepressants is a risk for mothers who breastfeed their children. Therefore, they should consider other options for feeding the child.