Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a mental illness and mood disorder that usually occurs in women during the first year after childbirth.

It interferes with one’s daily life and consists of feelings of depression or disconnection from your baby. The symptoms may range from mild to severe.

It is important to note that developing depression after childbirth is not your fault. Pregnancy and childbirth bring a variety of physical, chemical, and emotional changes, which may increase feelings of anxiety or depression. Hormone levels are known to rise during pregnancy and then drop suddenly after giving birth.

This is believed to trigger some cases of postpartum depression. In addition, the stress of taking care of a baby or going through childbirth may lead one to develop this disorder.

Somewhere between 70 percent to 80 percent of women who give birth will experience the “baby blues.” A recent study indicates that as many as 1 in 7 women go on to develop full-fledged postpartum depression in the year after giving birth: almost 600,000 instances are diagnosed each year.

“Baby blues” symptoms

Many new mothers may experience the “baby blues” after giving birth. The condition usually sets in within the first two or three days after childbirth and may last for two weeks.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depression and sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble eating
  • Trouble concentrating


Many people initially confuse their depression for baby blues because of the similarity of the symptoms. However, the symptoms of postpartum depression are more severe and last much longer, sometimes up to a year after childbirth.

  • Depression and sadness
  • Excessive crying
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal ideation

If left untreated, this type of depression can last for longer than several months.


While there is no single cause, there are several physical or emotional issues that play a role.

Hormone levels: After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone levels quickly drop. This may trigger mood swings.

Sleep deprivation: Many mothers experience sleep deprivation during the childbirth experience, which leads to discomfort and exhaustion, only fueling the symptoms of their depression.

History of depression: If you have either a personal or family history of depression, you have a higher risk of developing postpartum depression.

Stress: Giving birth can be stressful enough, but relationship or family issues may add extra stress and make developing postpartum depression more likely.

New fathers can also experience depression following childbirth, which is sometimes referred to as a paternal postpartum depression. Young fathers are most at risk to develop postpartum depression.

Fortunately, many of the treatments effective in combating postpartum depression in mothers can also help postpartum depression in fathers. If your symptoms persist after two weeks or are making it difficult to take care of yourself or your baby, you should reach out to your doctor and get help.

Treatment options

Medication: Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant or another medication to help with your symptoms.

Counseling: Meeting with a psychologist or mental health professional may help you learn to manage your negative thoughts.

Ketamine Infusions: An innovative new treatment option, IV Ketamine Infusions at your local Ketamine Infusion Center may help you find relief.

Ketamine Infusion Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Ketamine was first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic but has been used as a depression treatment since 2006. Infused at a low dose from an IV into the bloodstream, Ketamine has been shown to improve depression in 75 percent up to 80 percent of patients. Spravato, an antidepressant nasal spray based on Ketamine, has recently been approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression.

If you or a loved one is suffering from postpartum depression and has questions about Ketamine treatment, we invite you to call us and schedule a free phone consultation to decide if Ketamine infusion therapy postpartum depression is right for you. Contact: 512-387-5920, 512-200-7311.


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