Postpartum Depression : Symptoms And Symptoms

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Often the time after birth is a filled with joy and happiness due to the arrival of a new baby. However, for some mothers the birth of a baby leads to some complicated feelings that are unexpected. Up to 85% of postpartum woman experience a mild depression called “baby blues” (Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden, 2012). Though baby blues is hard on these mothers, another form of depression, postpartum depression, can be even more debilitating to postpartum woman. Postpartum depression affects about 15% (Lowdermilk et al., 2012) of postpartum woman. This disorder is not only distressing to the mother but to the whole family unit. This is why it is important for the nurse to not only recognize the signs and symptoms of a mother with postpartum depression, but also hopefully provide preventative care for the benefit of everyone involved. The differences between postpartum blues and postpartum depression are relatively easy to identify. Postpartum blues is characterized by “mood lability, irritability, tearfulness, generalized anxiety, and sleep and appetite disturbance” (Registered Nurse Association of Ontario, 2005, p. 15). Though some of these symptoms are similar to symptoms of postpartum depression, the timing is different. Postpartum blues occurs within the first two weeks of birth. Though these symptoms might seem irritating to the mother, they will resolve within a few days on their own. No treatment is needed besides comfort and reassurance. However the nurse still
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