Health Matters: Speaking Out About Postpartum Depression

It’s common for many women to experience the baby blues after giving birth.

But 10 to 15% of women experience something much more serious, postpartum depression.
 
Postpartum depression can show up anywhere between two weeks to a year after giving birth.

It’s a subject that hasn’t always been talked about, but now moms are speaking out.

For most women, the post pregnancy baby blues is a common thing but with lack of sleep and changing hormones baby blues can sometimes go much farther.
 
“Most moms think they’re supposed to be very happy and everyone around them expects them to be ecstatic,” says Essentia Health OBGYN, Dr. Beth Pesek.
 
What’s supposed to be the happiest time in your life can become the most depressing.

And moms are speaking out…just recently actress Hayden Panettiere came forward with her story about postpartum after the birth of her daughter Kayla.
 
“They feel separated from their child that is really not an uncommon experience when people are going through depression,” says Dr. Pesek.
 
From Gwyneth Paltrow to Courtney Cox to Drew Barrymore these A-list stars prove it can happen to anyone.

But there are certain factors that put you at risk like if you’ve experienced depression in the past or had a bad pregnancy.
 
“If they’ve had their baby pass away or if they’ve been in a hospital a long time before they’ve had their baby,” says Dr. Pesek.
 
Brooke Shields is another Hollywood mom who suffered the disease. Shields experienced extreme negative feelings and was even suicidal.
 
“Very rarely do we see postpartum psychosis where people actually experience some psychotic symptoms which would be things like hallucinations,” says Dr. Pesek.
 
But there are ways to fight the disease and it starts with something very simple: talking.
 
“So either friends or family around that can be really helpful.”
 
Dr. Pesek says most first baby check-ups are usually around 6 weeks after giving birth.

She says if you experience any feelings related to postpartum don’t hesitate to call your doctor to get the help you need.

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