Medical Update: Dealing with Post Partum Depression
Apr 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM CST
Apr 5, 2013
So you've made it through your pregnancy, and the birth of your baby, and you're getting used to your new role as a mom. But emotionally you're having a tough time. You may be dealing with post partum depression. Doctor Claudia Mercado says it's a condition that effects up to 15 percent of women. " It's normal that after delivery, you may feel a little sad or a little bit tired, fatigue or not enjoying, overwhelmed, and that's normal. It may last up to 10 days and that's called baby blues." But if those symptoms last longer than 10 days, you may be developing post partum depression. "Patients who are at a high risk of developing post partum depression are patients who are aged less than 20, patients who have a history of depression before that pregnancy, patients who have had a history of bi-polar disorders, patients who have had any symptoms during the pregnancy." Symptoms include feelings of guilt, sadness, not wanting to care for the baby or yourself, and even thoughts of hurting the baby. Doctor Mercado says while it may be hard to talk about, recognizing the symptoms is the first step. "Especially in our culture, talking about depression is very difficult, it's taboo." "Talking about PPD is even more difficult because nobody wants to feel like you don't take care of your baby or take care of yourself." Cases of post partum depression can range from mild to severe, and treatment often includes therapy and anti-depressants. But doctor Mercado says support from family is just as important. "Social support, helping the spouse with feeding and taking care of the baby, make sure that she gets some rest, very important that she also has time for herself." While it does take time to get over post partum depression, Doctor Mercado says starting treatment right away is key.