Postpartum Depression : A Mental Health Disorder

1414 Words Apr 28th, 2015 6 Pages
Postpartum depression, or PPD, is a mental health disorder that occurs in women prior to the birth of a newborn infant. PPD is caused by a dramatic shift in hormones occurring anywhere from a month to a year after childbirth. Because of the hormonal changes, women may feel that pregnancy is a time of happiness, fear, excitement, exhaustion, and even sadness. Expecting mothers may also feel a multitude of emotions after delivery as well. Postpartum depression in new mothers is a debilitating illness that can affect her everyday life, her family’s life and her newborn infants’. Most women feel the affects of postpartum depression in he first weeks of motherhood. According the American Pregnancy Association’s 2014 statistics “approximately 70 to 80 percent of women who have given birth experience what are often called the ‘baby blues’” (Piotrowski). Baby blues is less severe than PPD, but new mothers often have extreme mood swings and can feel very irritable, restless, anxious, or extremely happy. While baby blues may only last an onset time of a few weeks, PPD may last several months after the birth of a baby, or even close to a year. An extreme difference between baby blues and PPD is that baby blues do not interfere with the mother’s ability to care for her baby, while PPD affects the mother’s ability to care for herself and her newborn baby.
Women who have a family history of high depression or other mental illnesses are at higher risks for postpartum depression. Other…
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