Post Partum Depression
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What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Doctors and researchers have not yet determined exactly what causes postpartum depression, and it’s likely that there are several factors that lead to the onset of the disorder in most cases. Causes also likely vary from mother to mother. The most likely causes include:
- Hormonal changes. During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces high levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. After birth, the level of these hormones drops quickly, and the change in hormone levels is a likely cause of changes in mood and energy levels. Some women may be more than typically sensitive to the hormonal changes, leading to postpartum depression.
- Environmental factors. Life after childbirth is physically stressful, and new mothers are likely to suffer from too little sleep, inadequate nutrition, and other strains that cause fatigue and physical aches and pains. Under this stress, new mothers may be more vulnerable to the mood fluctuations that characterize postpartum depression.
Emotional factors. Major life changes that come in the wake of childbirth may also induce emotional stress that can exacerbate the physical stresses the mother is experiencing.
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