The Impact of Post-Partum Depression

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What do these famous women have in common? Alanis Morisette, Lena Headley, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chrissie Tiegen, Adele, Marie Osmond, Hayden Panettiere, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Sheilds, Carnie Wilson, Princess Diana, Courteney Cox, Lisa Rinna, Bryce Dallas, Kendra Wilson? All experienced post-partum depression.

According to the American Psychological Association, one in seven women have more than just “blues.” Women with post-partum depression describe the feeling as desperate, frightening, uncontrollable, and often so debilitating they can’t care for their newborn or other tasks of daily life.

Apparently post-partum depression isn’t tied to the easiness or hardness of the birth process, income, age, race or ethnicity, culture or education, marital status, or whether it comes with the first child or later ones.

And frightening new research shows that post-partum depression can affect a woman not just during the time around childbirth, but it can affect her relationship with the child she had during that time, and even with grandchildren of that child.

If you are struggling with post-partum depression, you need to get help as soon as you can.  Here are recommendations from the American Psychological Association.

  • Seek help from a psychologist or other licensed mental health provider; contact your doctor or other primary health care provider.
  • Talk openly about your feelings with your partner, other mothers, friends, and relatives.
  • Find a relative or close friend who can help you take care of the baby.
  • Get as much sleep or rest as you can even if you have to ask for more help with the baby. If you can’t rest even when you want to, tell your primary health care provider.
  • As soon as your doctor says it’s okay, take walks, get exercise.
  • Try not to worry about unimportant tasks—be realistic about what you can really do while taking care of a new baby.
  • Cut down on less important responsibilities

Postpartum depression is not your fault–it is a real, but treatable, psychological disorder.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, take action now:

Put the baby in a safe place, like a crib. Call a friend or family member for help if you need to. 

Call PPDMoms 
1-800-PPDMOMS (1-800-773-6667)

Since 1992, Dr. Robinson has worked in a variety counseling positions. She is also a popular author and speaker on topics ranging from childhood development and sexuality, teen issues, family dynamics including caring for elderly relatives, and church resources for families.

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