Postpartum depression: what you need to know

November 9, 2015

The birth of a baby is supposed to be a time of wonder, joy and happiness. But for some new moms, that time can be one of sadness and anxiety. Mayo Clinic certified nurse-midwife Julie Lamppa says 80 percent of new moms experience the "baby blues" during the first couple weeks after delivery. The baby blues are normal and temporary. Approximately 15 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, or PPD, which lasts longer and is more severe.

"Postpartum depression can be very difficult because we are trained to think that this is supposed to be a perfect time, and sometimes it is not. Women with postpartum depression should not be ashamed and they should not cover it up. They should talk about it." Julie Lamppa says postpartum depression can hit anytime within the first year after giving birth, but prompt treatment can help manage symptoms and help you to enjoy your new child.

Mayo Clinic screens women during and after pregnancy to check for risk factors, which could include:

History of depression

Being very young

Significant stress

Lack of social support

Relationship issues

Unrealistic parenting expectations

High-needs infant

Weak support system

Unplanned pregnancy



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