Causes Of Postpartum Depression

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

There is no single cause for postpartum depression. Physical, emotional and lifestyle factors all play a role. 


Physical Changes - After childbirth, a significant drop in estrogen and progesterone may contribute

to postpartum depression. Similarly, your thyroid hormone may also drop sharply, which can lead

you to feel tired and depressed. Changes that occur after birth in blood volume, blood pressure,

and metabolism can lead to fatigue and mood swings.


Emotional Factors - Getting up several times during the night and feeling overwhelmed can leave

you tired, and you may have trouble dealing with even small tasks. You may feel alone and lonely,

unattractive, and feel anxious about your ability to care for your baby.


Lifestyle influences - staying home alone with a demanding baby or an older sibling, difficulty

breast-feeding, fatigue, or financial problems can also lead to postpartum depression.


What are the Risk Factors?


Please note that Postpartum depression can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first one.

Risk factors include:  
  • You have experienced bouts of depression in the past.
  • You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy.
  • You’ve experienced stressful events during the past year, such as job loss, financial difficulties and pregnancy complications.
  • You’re experiencing marital problems.
  • You have a weak family and social support system.
  • The pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted.
  • The risk of postpartum depression is higher for women who have bi-polar disorder.