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Post-Partum Depression

April 24, 2018

The period surrounding the birth of a child is a joy, but for many families it can also be a time of concern.  Changing roles and physical changes can leave both mothers and fathers feeling irritable, depressed, or unable to cope. Here are some things to know and watch for. Mood changes are the most common complications of pregnancy.  Most new mothers will experience a disruption in their mood.  The “baby blues” are very common with upwards of 80% of new mothers experience baby blues within the first week of delivery.  This condition is not a psychiatric disorder and it passes within a few weeks.  Mothers can become weepy, nervous, or dependent.  Baby blues have been described as a relatively normal part of a reaction to rapid lifestyle and hormonal changes. There are a number of risk factors for developing postpartum mood changes, or full post-partum depression, including a family history of depression. Any stressful situation during the perinatal period increases the incidence of mood reactions.  Stress reduces the body’s ability to cope with drastic change.  Typical stressors include: financial demands, marital discord, moving to a new home within several months of delivery, previous emotional instability of either parent or their families, changes in employment status, or the lack of support of the new parent’s employer(s), lack of social read more