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PPD: Is it Predictable?

By October 5, 2008 - 5:43pm
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My daughter asked me this question that I thought I'd pose to you:

Can you predict ahead of time who would have postpartum depression? Is this an inherited disease, or something no one knows the cause of?

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My daughter and I were discussing why some new mothers would be prone to PPD and such cases as Andrea Yates.

October 6, 2008 - 4:34pm

No one is immune to postpartum depression – it can happen to anyone regardless of their psychiatric history. There are, however, high risk factors. Among others, some of these factors are a personal and/or family history of: depression or other mood disorder, anxiety, eating disorder, alcoholism, or substance abuse. If the woman is isolated for hours every day with the baby, if her emotional or physical support is poor, or if she has chronic sleep deprivation these can all make her more vulnerable, especially if she has a biochemical tendency toward depression. I hope this helps.

Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.
Author, Postpartum Depression For Dummies

October 6, 2008 - 1:56pm
HERWriter Guide

Nothing is set in stone or 100% predictable when it comes to PPD but a history of depression should certainly be of concern to a pregnant woman who is wondering about PPD and a family history of depression can also be an indicator.

Some other factors that are in existence before the birth of the baby can lead to PPD. Some of then are

-Being a single mom
-Little or no support once the baby is here
-Financial concerns
-Lack of sleep
-Hormonal imbalances
-Difficult or stressful birth/birth plan gone awry including an emergency c-section

After the baby is born, hormones can certainly be thrown off balance and the thyroid is particularly vulnerable. A sick infant or a colicky infant can leave a woman at risk for PPD. Her own lack of awareness and a support system also lacking in recognizing the signs are also factors.

For more information, click here http://www.4woman.gov/FAQ/postpartum.htm

and for support - click here http://postpartum.net

October 5, 2008 - 6:43pm
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