How Can the Postpartum Period Impact One’s Mental Health?

How Can the Postpartum Period Impact One’s Mental Health?

Postpartum depression can have a major impact on a woman’s life, affecting herself along with her partner and family. For women struggling with feelings of depression in the early postpartum months, it is important to find treatment or therapy that alleviates these symptoms.

At Roots Recovery, treating depression and postpartum depression in women is important to our staff. The compassionate and knowledgeable team works to help create a positive and healing lifestyle for a mother and her family through a variety of specialized services.

How Does Postpartum Depression Affect Women?

Postpartum depression affects about one in seven women. It should not be confused with “baby blues,” which occurs for only a short period of time, usually for two weeks after delivery. Postpartum depression tends to last longer, for at least roughly six weeks after childbirth. Another characteristic is that it affects the woman’s ability to complete her daily functioning.

Risk Factors

There are many risks that contribute to postpartum depression, including but not limited to:

  • Psychological risks such as a history of depression or anxiety, or resistance to the baby’s gender
  • Obstetric risks such as having an emergency c-section, umbilical cord prolapse, or preterm birth
  • Social risks such as lack of social support, domestic violence, or verbal abuse
  • Lifestyle risks such as suboptimal eating habits, sleep cycles, or exercise habits


The symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Suicidal ideation or attempt, or recurring thoughts of death
  • Impaired concentration or indecisiveness
  • Changes in weight or appetite

When at least five depressive symptoms are present for at least two weeks, a woman can be diagnosed with postpartum depression. Alongside these five symptoms, a woman must have had a major depressive episode that is not due to a psychotic disorder or after a manic episode within four weeks of delivery.

Additional Symptoms

In addition to the symptoms listed above, women may also experience anxiety, distress, or psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. Postpartum depression can greatly affect the mother’s relationship with her child, damaging that bond or leading to a failure of breastfeeding, negative parenting practices, marital discord, or harm to the child’s physical and psychological development.

Despite how women are affected by postpartum depression, many do not seek help out of shame of disclosing this information with their families. New mothers experiencing postpartum depression may fear judgment, abandonment, or lack of support. Many mothers don’t reach out because they feel the need to sacrifice their own health to meet the needs of the new child. However, it is crucial for women to seek help during this time because it benefits the whole family. Roots Recovery offers beneficial support to women experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.

How Does Roots Help Women Cope With Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression can be addressed through many therapies and treatments. If a mother is resistant to using a medication such as antidepressants, a combination of therapies can be offered. However, it is encouraged for mothers experiencing severe depression to start with a combination of antidepressant drugs alongside therapy.

Roots Recovery offers an effective complementary mix of healing therapies for postpartum depression. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a talk therapy that explores the relationship between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A therapist works with the mother to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought, revealing how these patterns lead to negative emotions. In CBT, the client and therapist work together to develop more constructive ways of thinking. For mothers experiencing postpartum depression, verbalizing one’s thoughts and feelings can help them begin to address underlying problems.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS is another service offered at Roots Recovery to help treat depression. This program uses non-invasive brain stimulation with electromagnetic fields. The magnetic fields are administered in short pulses that target parts of the brain that are underactive and associated with depression. Clients undergo TMS for about four to six weeks, five days a week, for roughly 19-37 minutes per session. TMS is a safe, tolerable, and FDA-approved treatment for those with depression. Many clients notice it helps their depressive symptoms improve drastically if not cleared entirely.

How Does Healing From Postpartum Help the Child?

When women go undiagnosed or do not heal from postpartum depression, they are likely to experience a lack of energy, difficulty focusing on their needs as well as their baby’s needs, moodiness, inability to care for their baby, and a higher risk of suicide.

Postpartum depression also can affect the child greatly. These effects include:

  • Language development delays and other learning difficulties
  • Issues with mother-child bonding
  • Behavior problems
  • More crying and agitation
  • Shorter height and risk of obesity in pre-schoolers
  • Problems dealing with stress, school adjustment, and other social situations

However, there is always hope, and it’s never too late to get help. Healing from postpartum depression can help repair the bond between the mother and baby and bring joy to the whole family. There is no harder job than new motherhood. Finding the right help and support for facing this challenging time can make life more joyful and fulfilling for everyone involved.

Here at Roots Recovery, we offer services for mothers experiencing postpartum depression. Postpartum depression lasts for an elongated period after childbirth. This unique type of depression can exist alongside typical depressive symptoms such as loss of interest and fatigue. It is important to heal from postpartum depression to give your baby optimal love and care and to restore your ability to cope. Roots Recovery gives mothers many options, including the opportunity to start antidepressants with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). These services work to relieve mothers of their depression and enable them to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. To learn more about postpartum depression treatment at Roots, call us at (562) 473-0827.

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