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Postpartum Depression

According to the National Institutes of Health, 50-80% of women suffer from the "baby blues" after childbirth. They may feel a little depressed, have a hard time concentrating, lose their appetite or find that they can't sleep well even when the baby is asleep. These symptoms usually go away within 10 days after delivery. This condition is considered a normal part of early motherhood.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is an illness, like diabetes or heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects 10-15% of women. Many get depressed right after childbirth, but some women don't feel "down" until later. Depression that occurs within six months of childbirth may be postpartum depression. The period of time that this depression lasts can vary. Some women feel better within a few weeks, but others don't feel like themselves for many months.

Who gets Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is more likely if you have any of the following:

  • Previous postpartum depression
  • Depression not related to pregnancy
  • Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • A difficult marriage
  • Few family members or friends for support
  • Stressful life events during the pregnancy or after childbirth