Elly was completely shocked when she developed Postpartum Depression following the birth of her first baby. Her pregnancy was planned and uneventful and labor and birth were natural and without complications. But a few weeks after the birth, with ongoing sleep deprivation, a colicky baby and lack of help and support, Elly started feeling down, unmotivated, anxious and hopeless.
When one evening she burst into tears and told her husband Peter that she couldn't cope anymore, he urged her to see a therapist.
I'm supposed to be happy but I'm feeling down all the time.
James and Sandy were excited about having their first baby. They had been married for 4 years and have been feeling happy together. Their financial situation was good. They both held permanent positions with big hi- tech companies.
In my previous blog I discussed the common and benign phenomenon of Postpartum Blues, which affects up to 80% of new mothers and does not require any special intervention other than some TLC. But what if low mood, weepiness, irritability, being overwhelmed and feeling lack of joy or hopelessness persists?
Postpartum Depression: A serious, debilitating disorder
Marilee was happy and relieved when her son, Sean, was born. Nine months of pregnancy and a couple of years of trying to get pregnant prior to that have been a long time for her to wait. But now, she was holding little Sean in her arms, admiring his perfect little body, kissing his little forehead and cheeks and feeling like that most blessed woman on earth. However, on the second day following the birth Marilee found herself upset for no apparent reason. She found it hard to hold her tears back when a nurse said something to her about her not holding her baby in the right position. She was later extremely upset at her husband Dave for showing up 15 minutes later than he said he was going to be. At night, she could not fall asleep even when the baby was asleep as she was going over labor and birth in her mind, feeling disappointed and upset at times and feeling thankful at others. Marilee was not sure what was going on and was wondering if she had developed Postpartum Depression.
Postpartum Blues: A benign and transient condition
In regards to their patients with postpartum depression, Vancouver healthcare providers should take a cue from a recent study conducted by Australian researchers. The Guardian Liberty Voice recently reported that a study found that women may develop postpartum depression much later after childbirth--as much as four years after childbirth.