Not Just the Baby Blues: Screening Can Help Address Postpartum Depression | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

6/11/2013

If you know someone who’s expecting a baby this summer, you have plenty of company. More babies are born in July, August, and September than in any other months of the year, according to 2010 Federal data [PDF File, Plugin Software Help].

A new baby brings joy and excitement. But for some women, it can also bring on the start of serious depression. Known as postpartum depression, this condition often starts shortly after a woman gives birth, but it can also begin up to a year later.

Signs of postpartum depression are similar to the symptoms of major depression. They include—

  • Feeling sad or depressed most of the time.
  • Having no interest in doing things a person used to enjoy.
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight in a short time.
  • Being unable to sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Feeling guilty or worthless.
  • Thinking about death or suicide.

Major depression in women who have given birth in the previous year affects between 1 and 6 percent of the population. In the first 3 months after giving birth, the incidence is higher than 6 percent.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

Available at: http://www.ahrq.gov/news/columns/navigating-the-health-care-system/061113.html

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