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Information about postpartum depression - from the CDC website.
Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby. “Baby blues” symptoms typically resolve on their own within a few days.
How Many Women Experience Depression?
Depression is a common and serious illness. A CDC study shows that about one 1 out of 10 women in the United States reported symptoms that suggest they experienced an episode of major depression in the last year. Using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), CDC research shows that nationally, about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Estimates of the number of women affected by postpartum depression differ by age and race/ethnicity. Additionally, postpartum depression estimates vary by state, and can be as high as 1 in 5 women. View your state’s prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms using PRAMS.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
How often postpartum depression symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they feel can be different for each person. The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms for depression, but may also include:
- Crying more often than usual.
- Feelings of anger.
- Withdrawing from loved ones.
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Worrying that you will hurt the baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mom or doubting your ability to care for the baby.
Risk Factors for Depression
Experiences that may put some women at a higher risk for depression can include
- Stressful live events.
- Low social support.
- Previous history of depression.
- Family history of depression.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
- Being a mom to multiples, like twins, or triplets.
- Being a teen mom.
- Preterm (before 37 weeks) labor and delivery.
- Pregnancy and birth complications.
- Having a baby who has been hospitalized.
Depression can also occur among women with a healthy pregnancy and birth.
If you are seeking help for postpartum depression, please visit Postpartum Support International.
Many resources are listed here, including emergency services.
How Depression Affects Fathers
According to a 2010 study using data from 1993 to 2007, approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year after their child’s birth. By a child’s 12th birthday, about 1 out of 5 fathers will have experienced one or more episodes of depression. Younger fathers, those with a history of depression, and those experiencing difficulties affording items such as a home or car were most likely to experience depression.