What is PPD?
PPD is the #1 complication of childbirth, affecting nearly 700,000 women in the U.S. each year. Symptoms include a wide range of emotional and physiological reactions to childbirth that can occur during pregnancy and/or for up to one year postpartum. Every woman experiences PPD differently, but understanding the facts and myths about PPD can help you feel less isolated.
Who is at risk for developing PPD?
ANY WOMAN who is pregnant or has had a baby. That’s right. The only way to avoid PPD is to not get pregnant. That being said, there are certain factors that may increase your chances of developing PPD:
- History of PPD or other mood/anxiety disorder (this can mean you or one of your family members)
- Being a first-time mom
- Ambivalence about the pregnancy
- Lack of social support
- Lack of a stable relationship with your partner and/or parents
- Dissatisfaction with yourself
- Unrealistic expectations of parenthood
- Recent stresses
- Prior adverse reaction to oral contraceptives or severe PMS
- Being either a young or an older mom
Keep in mind that an increased risk doesn’t mean you’ll definitely experience prenatal or postpartum depression. Likewise, having no recognizable risk factors does not mean you won’t. The causes and symptoms of PPD are different for every woman.