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Places moms-to-be at risk for postpartum depression? A history of the affliction: Women who’ve battled with postpartum depression in a single pregnancy are more at risk because of its return in a later pregnancy. Naturally, many moms wonder if having a second kid may be worth it.

“Essentially, in the event you have had one episode of unipolar depression postpartum (which is more serious compared to common and lighter “baby blues”), your risk is 30 percent,” says Sheila Marcus, MD, psychiatrist and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “If you’d bipolar depression postpartum, your danger is roughly 50 percent, and in case you’d postpartum psychosis, your danger is 70 percent.”

Dr. Marcus says that for a modest number of women, their first bout of postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis was so hopeless that they might seriously consider not having a second kid — but in each event, this is a really individual judgement.

Thankfully, if you’re ready to add another member to the family, there is much you can do in order to reduce your risk for postpartum depression.

How to Reduce Your Risk for the Return of Postpartum Depression

Try these depression prevention suggestions — both during and following your pregnancy:

  • Stick together with your treatment. If you are already in therapy or on antidepressants, talk to your doctor about whether you should continue to take antidepressants during pregnancy. This may depend on the severity and intensity of symptoms, says Marcus.
  • Break a sweat. Pregnant women are counseled to be physically active, and Marcus says that women who feel they are at risk for depression after delivery may profit from at least 30 to 40 minutes of exercise three times a week (making sure the exercise is suitable and doesn’t increase your core temperature.)
  • Worry less. “To the extent that you just are able to minimize other stressors,” Marcus advises. Therapy could be especially useful in identifying areas of stress that you experienced you could command.
  • Get more Zzzs. Marcus suggests creating a plan, in advance, for the birth as well as the period after the arrival. Getting enough sleep after your child is born is extremely important, and a vital element of your plan should be how you’ll achieve this. Marcus says their partners as well as some women divide infant care at nighttime up in order that they each can get six hours of sleep. Other couples alternate nights. Such as a nursing student, hiring someone, in some positions, to help out at night might be a good alternative. Women who wish to breastfeed but desire their slumber can pump throughout the day rather than waking up mother, so the baby can be fed by the health professional.
  • Slender in your support network. Build up a network during your pregnancy so you will have them to lean on later. “The quintessential postpartum depression is an apprehensive depression,” explains Marcus. This means women worry about how exactly things will go once their husband or family leaves goes back to work, but understanding people will be checking in on you can alleviates this worry.
  • Contemplate preventive treatment. Clinical trials have generated mixed effects on the benefit of taking antidepressants during pregnancy to avoid postpartum depression. “What many girls do is take their prescription to the hospital together,” says Marcus, and then they begin antidepressants after delivery.
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The best way to Lower Your Own Risk for Postpartum Depression

Depression during pregnancy is known as peripartum depression. It’s clearly another occasion, although it’s a risk factor for postpartum depression. If you’re depressed during pregnancy, your doctor might talk about taking antidepressants.

And antidepressants are safe to take, says psychiatrist Charlotte Ladd, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry in the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “As a group, they can be possibly the most well-studied drugs on the market.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists along with the American Psychiatric Association have put together guidelines for the utilization of antidepressants in pregnancy. “Some of the variables that go into [the choice to use antidepressants] will be the severity of the depression and whether or not someone has reacted well to psychotherapy in the past,” Dr. Ladd adds.

You will find just two fundamental kinds of antidepressants that could be prescribed during pregnancy: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

  • SSRIs. According to Ladd, studies reveal no long term effects from using SSRIs during pregnancy on a kid’s growth, although there can be a slight delay in reaching motor development milestones. Data on structural malformations are conclusive. Withdrawal symptoms that are temporary may be experienced by babies born to mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy and also have a sixfold risk for a rare condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs could be safer during pregnancy, says Ladd; and, while they do carry a risk for withdrawal symptoms, they do not seem to increase the risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension, birth defects, or delayed development.

Ultimately, says Ladd, “it’s an individual evaluation. Many girls do decide to take drugs in pregnancy since they feel so much better with all the drugs that they are prepared to accept these known but little risks.”

The fact that you had postpartum depression or depression during pregnancy in the past does not mean your future pregnancies will likely be troubled too — but it certainly helps to be prepared. For women who know they will have a threat of depression associated with pregnancy, Ladd suggests building support networks taking precautions by creating a healthier lifestyle, and beginning or keeping treatment.

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