What Causes Postpartum Depression

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

The precise cause of postpartum depression (PPD) remains unknown, but various factors are believed to play a role in its development. These factors encompass physical, emotional, lifestyle, and genetic elements.

Physical Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels, are thought to contribute to postpartum depression. Significant alterations in thyroid hormone levels, along with other physiological changes like decreased blood volume, fluctuations in blood pressure, immune system adjustments, and metabolic changes, can elevate stress levels in the body, potentially leading to fatigue and mood swings.

Emotional Factors: Exhaustion and sleep deprivation following childbirth can magnify the perception of even minor issues as overwhelming. Anxiety regarding newborn care and uncertainties about parenting abilities can provoke nervousness and tension. Moreover, physical transformations may instigate feelings of diminished attractiveness, while adjusting to changes in spousal dynamics can evoke concerns. The combination of these factors may foster a sense of losing control over one’s life, precipitating symptoms of postpartum depression.

Lifestyle Influences: Factors such as inadequate family or partner support, financial stressors, exhaustion, and breastfeeding challenges can contribute to postpartum depression.

Genetic Factors: Genetic predispositions may also influence the risk of postpartum depression, although the specific genetic components involved are not fully understood. Whether hereditary factors contributing to postpartum depression differ from those associated with general depression is still under investigation.

A confluence of the aforementioned factors likely contributes to postpartum depression in women following childbirth.