Having a baby is meant to be the happiest time of your life. But if for some reason you feel that it’s not, the reason may be out of your control.
Many moms — 60 to 80 percent of them — experience the baby blues, which is a mild form of depression that lasts just a few days or up to a couple of weeks after delivery. Symptoms include being weepy, anxious, irritable and unable to sleep (because of reasons other than a needy baby). Rest and some extra helping hands usually take care of it.
But sometimes the blues don’t end after a few weeks, which could be a sign of postpartum depression (PPD), suffered by 10 to 20 percent of new moms. PPD, which can last for up to a year, is believed to a combination of psychological, genetic, environmental, hormonal and biochemical factors.
Are you at risk of PPD? Here are some warning signs (although just be aware that if you can relate to one or none of these symptoms on the list doesn’t necessarily mean you will or won’t experience PPD):
History of Depression 1 of 6Is there a history of depression or anxiety in your family, or did you suffer from one or both during your pregnancy? About half of women who experience depression in their pregnancy also experience it postpartum.
Unplanned Pregnancy 2 of 6If getting pregnant was a surprise, your risk for experiencing PPD increases.
Unsupportive Spouse/Marital Problems 3 of 6Even if you're thrilled to be having a baby, having a spouse or partner who isn't could contribute to you suffering from PPD.
Financial Problems 4 of 6If you're already under duress about money matters, having a baby could lead to the causes of PPD.
Life Changes 5 of 6Have you or someone close to you lost a job recently? Did you just move? Big swings in what's happening in your life may contribute to PPD.
PMS 6 of 6Before you were pregnant, did you experience severe premenstrual syndrome? That's one indication you might be prone to PPD.
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