Katie Monarch, a licensed clinical social worker, explains if a lack of sleep can lead to postpartum depression/PPD.
Katie L. Monarch:
Lack of sleep is the number one reason people start feeling depressed, whether it’s one night, two nights, three nights, we can have moms that come in with perhaps maybe four hours of sleep in three days, and absolutely, sleep is important. It’s imperative that mom gets sleep. It’s imperative that she has a support network to help her do that. She needs to find a pattern within herself.
The longer stretch of days that she goes without sleep, the more she will feel odd. She will start thinking differently. She could be thinking crazy thoughts in her mind that are crazy, and can becomes very, very fearful of what’s going on with that. So sleep is important.
If the experts all say, if you can sleep when the baby sleeps, then do it, and if you see that you are getting into a pattern with that lack of sleep, you really need to get some support in there to help you that you feel comfortable with so that you can get some sleep and allow that other person to care for the baby for that time period.
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).