Postnatal depression

The birth of your own child should be the happiest moment in a woman's life. However, for many women the hardest time begins after giving birth – the beginning of postnatal depression. About ten percent of women who become mothers for the first time suffer from postnatal depression. A specific starting point cannot be defined: some women become depressed directly after giving birth, others don't become depressed until months later.

The symptoms are diverse, as with other types of depression. Women suffering from postnatal depression feel physically ill and listless. The psychological strain is, however, far more distinct. Those affected suffer from panic attacks out of fear for their children, but also for their own health. They feel a distance between themselves and the child, as if it wasn't theirs. In short – life doesn't seem worth living anymore and in extreme cases, some even become inclined to suicidal thoughts.

The causes for postnatal depression are varied. In most cases, it is actually caused by extreme hormonal fluctuations. During a pregnancy, the female body produces a much larger amount of oestrogen and progesterone than usual. This ensures the feelings of happiness and calmness, typical for a pregnancy. With the birth of the child a sudden recession of the hormone levels is triggered, the oestrogen and progesterone levels drop to almost zero. Progesterone levels in particular affect the moods of women, meaning a sudden drop can cause depressive moods. Doctors and alternative practitioners prescribe progesterone and oestrogen for after the birth, ideally in natural form, in order to relieve the complaints until the body once again starts its own production. This condition can last for up to 6 months.

With help from Verisana, you can easily determine whether your hormones levels are within the reference range. Verisana measures your progesterone and oestrogen levels by means of a saliva test. The required sample can easily be collected by yourself in the comfort of your own home. The saliva test is the recommended test from the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the determination of hormone levels.

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