Updated: Oct 13, 2020
Post partum depression
Congratulations, you just had a baby! Your prize is a kid that you have to keep alive, with no manual…what the absolute F^*%! Yes, you head that right, survival is the name of the game. But what if you started to feel distant, sad, disconnected…I would say you are In good company. Post-partum baby blues are the rise of emotions that come along with a baby—they are free, no charge—and up to 85% of women have them. Well thank you for a whole lot of nothing! This can be normal, and can last for the first 2 weeks or so. It is an adjustment whether your first or your fourth—adding a fresh baby comes with a lot.
But what if these baby blues turn into fear, anger, depression, anxiety for weeks, maybe months on end? Wow that is really scary and overwhelming— as if being a new parent wasn’t bad enough…
Post-partum depression occurs in 1 in 8 women—hold up, really? Yes and in some resources say it can be in as many as 1 in 5 women…seriously? Another way of saying the same thing, post-partum depression can occur in up to 20% of women.
Well, who is at higher risk? Massachusettes General Hospital Center for Women’s Health states:
“Cheryl Beck has created the Postpartum Depression Predictors Inventory, a list of 13 variables that may be used to identify women at risk for postpartum depression either during pregnancy or soon after delivery (Beck 2001). Ten of those 13 have been shown to be reliable predictors, in many cases, of postpartum depression:
Prenatal depression – Depression during pregnancy may be the strongest predictor for later suffering from PPD.
History of previous depression – Although not as strong a predictor as a depressive episode during the pregnancy, it appears that women with histories of depression previous to conception are also at a higher risk of PPD than those without.
Maternity blues– Especially when severe, the blues may herald the onset of PPD.
Recent stressful life events
Inadequate social supports
Poor marital relationship – One of the most consistent findings is that among women who report marital dissatisfaction and/or inadequate social supports, postpartum depressive illness is more common.
Difficult infant temperament”
There is a screening test that is done to see how you are doing, and if you are actually showing the signs on post-partum depression. It is called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. This is something that usually is given to you by your child’s pediatrician as well as your follow-up appointment with your OB. Please, be honest on this test. I know it is hard, and sometimes you feel like you are admitting defeat. Though, we can’t help if we don’t know.
Our goal is to make you feel better, confident, stronger, connected to your new baby. Sometimes it is something you can get through on your own. Sometimes you need some help.
Just remember, we ask because we know how real it is; we ask because we want to support you; we ask because we want to support your relationship with your new baby; we ask because we care.
…until next time, IrishDoc07