The Hope Project (THP): Understanding Postpartum Depression

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

Postpartum depression is a serious public health issue that affects around 13% of women within a year of giving birth. Although depression rates do not appear to be greater in women in the postpartum period compared to other women of the same age and socioeconomic status who have not just given birth (Hobfoll et al., 1995; O’Hara & Swain, 1996), rates of first onset and severe depression are at least three times higher.

This article discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment of postpartum depression.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Having a baby is an exhilarating, pleasurable, and usually a worrisome time for most women. Postpartum depression is a type of depression that develops after a woman gives birth to a child. The word "postpartum" refers to depression, which develops following the birth of a child.

Postpartum depression is a dangerous but manageable medical condition characterised by emotions of profound sadness, indifference, or anxiety along with changes in vitality, sleep, and appetite. It poses a threat to both the mother and the kid.

Who is at risk?

Postpartum depression can affect any newly pregnant woman and occasionally fathers. Although the etiology is not well understood and the research on this topic is varied, hormonal alterations (Miller, 2002; O'Hara et al., 1991) and reforms in serotonergic and noradrenergic functioning (Doornbos et al., 2008) may contribute to postpartum depression. If the new mother lacks social support or is having trouble adjusting to her new identity and duties, or if the woman has a personal or family history of depression, postpartum depression is more likely to develop. (Collins et al., 2004; Miller, 2002; O'Hara & Gorman, 2004).

How does it affect people?

Postpartum depression is a disorder that can have serious consequences for both mothers and their children. Mothers may have reservations about their abilities to care for their children, have difficulty bonding with them, and even consider harming them. Furthermore, postpartum depression might have an impact on a child's development by disrupting the mother-infant bond. Children of moms with postpartum depression, for example, have more cognitive, behavioural, and interpersonal issues than children of moms without postpartum depression. Other symptoms include loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of worthlessness/guilt, suicidal thoughts, accompanied by episodes of crying 'for no reason'.

Postpartum depression in new fathers can show up as feeling fatigued, changes in appetite, and/or sleeping habits. In the first year after their child's birth, about 4% of fathers experience depression. Fathers who are younger, have a history of depression or have financial issues are more likely to suffer from depression.

How has science evolved to help new parents?

A lot of studies have contributed to extensive research on Postpartum depression which has been a huge aid to childbirth educators. Childbirth educators are adapting their curricula to reflect the social and cultural changes in the childbearing community, including themes like postpartum care, infant care, and the prevention and detection of postpartum depression early on.

Treatment Options

Psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two is frequently used to manage postpartum depression.

1. Psychotherapy

It may be beneficial to speak with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health experts about your worries. Family and relationship therapy may also be helpful.

2. Antidepressants

An antidepressant may be prescribed by a doctor. Any drug taken while breastfeeding will pass via breast milk. Most antidepressants, on the other hand, can be taken while breastfeeding with little danger of negative effects for the infant. Working with your doctor to consider the risks and advantages of different antidepressants is a good idea.


Despite the rising recognition of postpartum depression as a global childbirth-related concern, the significance of recognising and treating it has been largely ignored in practise until recently, and it appears that awareness of the condition is low. Because of its effects, such as an increased risk of suicide and infanticide, postpartum depression is a major societal concern. Postpartum Depression is more common than gestational diabetes. Everyone gets the orange drink, but screening for Postpartum Depression is optional. It is often underdiagnosed and untreated; therefore, efforts are needed to improve perinatal mental healthcare.


Unwired India is a neurotech-startup that aims at integrating state-of-the-art research and developments in STEM, for catalyzing the transition of Neuroscience to Neurotechnology. We develop avant-garde non-invasive neurostimulation products used to solve some of the world’s most critical global issues and challenges. Our mission is to take cutting-edge brain research directly into the lives and homes of people, thereby fostering a unique culture of sustainable neuroscience and scientific literacy in India.

  • Founded in 2020, we are the pioneers of Nootropics and non-invasive Neurotechnology devices in the country, and offer so much more than high-quality, delicious Brain Nutrition products for daily cognitive support; a full-service health and fitness startup that has become an important part of the local community, here in New Delhi, India.

  • We develop non-GMO, all-natural nootropic (smart-drug) formulations, Himalayan herb blends, and specialized amino-nutraceutical interventions and supplements for enhanced brain function, cognition, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.


The Hope Project (THP) is a neuro-disorder awareness initiative within the organizational framework of Unwired India. The initiative aims at creating and scaling awareness against the stigma, fear, and apprehensions associated with Neurological disorders.

Aims: To promote and develop awareness across global masses and to emphasize the importance of early detection, in addition to fostering a healthy lifestyle- which is important in the management and treatment of these ailments.


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A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment. pression f

Sit, D. K., & Wisner, K. L. (2009). Identification of postpartum depression. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology, 52(3), 456–468.

FORMAN, D., O'HARA, M., STUART, S., GORMAN, L., LARSEN, K., & COY, K. (2007). Effective treatment for postpartum depression is not sufficient to improve the developing mother–child relationship. Development and Psychopathology, 19(2), 585-602. doi:10.1017/S0954579407070289

Image Credits: by Dahlak Tarekegn


About The Author

Ishika Jain

Content Writer for The Hope Project (Delhi, India)

Ishika Jain is a student of Psychology honors from the University of Delhi, armed with hands-on knowledge in research, public health, and health tech. She has worked in the field of global mental health, community research, and intervention, assisting in science communication and research writing. She has a keen interest in Neuropsychology, with a blend of neuroscience, philosophy, and interpersonal contact.

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