Monday, December 3, 2007

Mood Disorders - Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression Basics:
60-70% of new mothers experience "The Baby Blues" lasting between one and two weeks
10-15% of new mothers experience post partum depression lasting weeks to months
Post partum depression, more serious and long-lasting that the "baby blues" can effect a new mother's ability to care for her baby and function effectively in her daily life. Feelings of sadness and anxiety can become overwhelming rendering her unable to function.
Many women experiencing post partum depression also report feeling exteme fatigue and either a lack of concern for her baby or overconcern for her baby.

A much more serious related disorder is called, post partum psychosis. Feature associated with this disorder include: constant fear of harming one's baby, hallucinations, extreme mood swings.
More on this in the wikipedia link below.

It is believed the drastic decline in the hormones estrogen and progesterone following birth triggers depression. The inevitable stress involved in caring for a newborn is also a contributing factor.

Many are calling for wide-spread screening among new mothers beginning a couple weeks after giving birth through the first year.

Maternal depression can impact a newborn's development:
-poor impulse control
-low self-esteem
-increased behavioral problems

Danish researchers reported last year that it seems as if post-partum depression is physiological rather than psychosocial. First-time fathers received hospitalization for mood disorders at about the same rate as men in the regular population, perhaps indicating post partum depression is physiological.

Treatment options:
Additional information:
American Psychological Association:
To learn more about one woman's battle with post partum depression:
APA brochure:


Katy4 said...

I was just wondering if there have been any studies comparing men with sympathetic pregnancy syndrome and new father depression.

Trebus4 said...

new mother's can take preventative measures by going in to see a mental health counsler, or recieving different types of therapy and drugs.

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