Postpartum depression is a serious medical issue that affects as many as 1 in every 10 mothers who have recently given birth. It has the ability to disrupt the daily lives of those who experience it and prevents them from caring for their newborns.
The mothers themselves are not the only ones being affected. Because of their predisposition to anger and irritability, the rest of the household can suffer as well. In fact, postpartum depression is known to have long-term behavioral and emotional repercussions on babies themselves.
READ: Baby blues vs Post-partum depression: What’s the difference?
A new study published by the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health revealed that there are more ill-effects on women wrought on by postpartum depression.
“Study results revealed that mothers who have suffered postnatal depression experienced significantly lower fertility levels compared to those who have never suffered postnatal depression,” the study revealed.
“The effect of postnatal depression was just as strong as that of major birth complications in lowering female fertility after the birth of the second child.”
READ: Coping with and avoiding postnatal depression—what you need to know
The study measured the results gathered from over 300 woman born between 1930 and 1967. Researchers discovered that mothers who had suffered from PND had significant and long-term effects on families.
According to lead researcher Sarah Myers and her team at the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation, “Having a bout of postnatal depression at both first and second birth had the second largest effect size on progression from parity 2, smaller yet within the range of major birth complications.”
Addressing Postnatal depression
There is no shame in admitting that you have it—after all countless of new mothers experience it. This condition is usually observed in the first three months after delivery.
Typical syndromes include: Feelings of persistent sadness and irritability, anxiety, lack of interest, negative thoughts, insomnia, changes in appetite, inability to care for self, doubt or concerns regarding caring for her baby.
PND may require treatment with drugs called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro, to name a few.
The most crucial part of having PND, however, is sitting down with your doctor and addressing the problem. Only then can the mother begin her journey to recovery.
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