A known Hollywood star recently checked into a center that treats depression postpartum bringing much-needed attention to this critical issue. Postpartum depression is real, and requires treatment. Often, however, it maintains the new shame mothers and their families, to seek help. Here are nine facts you should know about postpartum depression:
1. Postpartum depression is not the “baby blues”. Approximately 80 percent of women experience postpartum depression during the first week or two after giving birth. They are worried, tired, sad and often overwhelmed. But true postpartum depression is much more severe and persistent.
2. Postpartum depression does not discriminate. It can be a single mom or happily married, financial or off problems.
3. It is difficult to get help, and women may need support to take that step. Society tells us that motherhood should be an idyllic experience, and when it falls short, often feel guilty.
4. The symptoms of postpartum depression may surprise you. Yes, there may be sad, but it is also often anger, intense irritability, anxiety and hopelessness.
5. It is believed that one in five women may experience postpartum depression, based on CDC statistics. However, this number is based on self-reporting by women in 17 states. The actual number is probably higher.
6. If your doctor prescribes medication, do not be afraid to take it. There are good pharmaceutical options for the treatment of postpartum depression. After all, if you had high blood pressure, you take medication to lower it.
7. You can breast-feed while taking an antidepressant. Studies have shown certain antidepressants are safe for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
8. While you may have your hands full taking care of your baby, do not neglect the basics. Eat healthy foods, exercise and get enough sleep. Even a ten or twenty minute walk can make a big difference in your mental state. Buy some pre-packaged salads, or let friends bring food. Your partner in charge of feeding midnight done.
9. Have postpartum depression does not mean it’s a bad mother. Not their fault, and the sooner you seek help, the sooner you will be able to give your baby the attention it deserves.