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Understanding Postpartum Depression

Shulamit Glaubach, MD, heads a private psychiatry practice in San Francisco, California. There, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, sees patients dealing with a variety of conditions, including women who have postpartum depression.

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Understanding Postpartum Depression

  1. 1. Shulamit Glaubach MD
  2. 2. Introduction  Shulamit Glaubach, MD, heads a private psychiatry practice in San Francisco, California. There, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, sees patients dealing with a variety of conditions, including women who have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression affects women who have given birth, and can deeply affect the mother’s well-being. Women who have a history of depression or have experienced postpartum depression in prior pregnancies are more at risk. For instance, she may worry constantly that she won’t be a good mother or that she is no longer attractive. She might put a lot of pressure on herself to be an ideal mother as well as have difficulty bonding with the baby. Feelings of shame, anxiety, and sadness commonly accompany postpartum depression, as can mood swings or thoughts of harming oneself or the child.
  3. 3. Postpartum Depression  Women who don't take time for themselves are more likely to feel exhausted, distraught, and doubt their parenting abilities. Children who are brought up with postpartum depression may develop social difficulties if the postpartum depression is not effectively treated. There are decisions that need to be made to prevent and treat postpartum depression such as taking antidepressants while pregnant or nursing, including the decision to nurse or not nurse. The outcome of any decision should be one that encourages a healthy mother as the priority. Despite the seriousness or the condition, many women hesitate to get help for postpartum depression, mistakenly believing that their feelings are due to a flaw in their character.
  4. 4. Conclusion  These feelings might be reinforced by others, who dismiss postpartum depression by saying that the mother should be happy to have a child or that she is just being selfish or self-indulgent. However, postpartum depression is a real condition that should be treated seriously, affecting women of all backgrounds. In fact, about one in seven women experience depression following having a child. Therefore, if you or a loved one seem to have the condition, seek help. Support groups, antidepressant medication, and other therapy are just some of the ways that it can be successfully treated.

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