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Seven common triggers of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression appears in many different forms and symptoms and affects different women in different ways. It is for this reasons that it is caused by various factors.

In some cases, it’s unclear how a woman develops postpartum depression something that tends to make it all the more confusing and challenging for those suffering from it. It’s vital for women suffering from postpartum depression to understand that what they are going through not as a result of something the mother did or didn’t do but rather a development triggered by possible genetic predispositions, history of the mother’s health, environmental, physical and emotional factors.

Here are some of the possible postpartum depression causes according to a study done by University of Carolina at Chapel Hill;

Physical causing agents.

Other than hormonal changes and imbalances physical causes can possibly trigger the PPD. Sleep deprivation for instance plays a large role in causing postpartum depression. Women who give birth are often sleep deprived in the weeks following due to their new responsibilities of caring for their child. Lack of sleep can greatly impact how a woman functions, feels and handles situations. Without proper and consistent sleep, women may start to exhibit signs of postpartum depression.

Emotional factors

In addition to hormonal changes and sleep deprivation, there are other emotional triggers that can cause postpartum depression. These types of emotional situations may include complications faced during childbirth as well as general feelings of being overwhelmed by new motherhood.

Genetic and medical history risk factors

If a woman has one or more family members who have suffered from postpartum depression in the past, then this can possibly place her at a greater risk of developing it as well. Additionally, women who have struggled with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety or who have suffered more significant mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, are an estimated 30-35% more likely to be faced with postpartum depression in their lifetime. Women who have experienced postpartum depression in previous childbirths are also much more likely to experience it again with future childbirths.


Emotional risk factors

In terms of emotional risk factors, women who face emotional and mental stress before, during or right after pregnancy could be at a greater risk of developing postpartum depression. These types of stresses may include job loss, financial burdens, death of a friend or family member, the end of a relationship, academic failure or any other type of stressful life situation.

Stresses such as facing new responsibilities or feeling like they have no time for themselves or social activities can also cause women to feel anxious and depressed after childbirth.

Additionally, women who lack the support of a partner, family members or friends during pregnancy may be more likely to experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Women who face abusive domestic situations may also be more likely to develop depression during and after pregnancy.

Early pregnancy

Unplanned and unwanted pregnancy among the school going teenagers is a major contributing factor. More depressing thoughts will come in especially when torn in between nursing the newborn and whether to juggle in between the books.

The worst part is when they face rejection and abandonment from family and their partners while they are incapacitated to support themselves.


Drug abuse.


Current substance abuses such as drugs or alcohol have negatively affected the subjects in the matter.  Children breastfeeding may have difficulties in sleeping, irritability, diarrhea and vomiting, restlessness and frequent vomits due to their mothers drug use.  With all these side effects, the mother might think that the child has developed some sort of complications and in the long run might get depressed.

Lack of medication.

Anti depressants medications acts on the brain chemicals that are involved in mood regulations. Many antidepressants only takes a few weeks to be most effective. Failure to take them can lead to one being moody due to unbalanced hormones causing depression.


By being aware of the potential causes and risk factors of postpartum depression, women and their families can better prepare themselves for this potential outcome and take preventative measures to limit the debilitating effects of this condition. Talk to your physician or mental health professional if you have concerns over possible postpartum depression risk factors that may affect you.


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