Is Postpartum Depression Linked to Pregnancy Complications?
A study reveals that postpartum depression may be more likely to strike moms who’ve had multiple pregnancy and labor complications.
Celebrity moms Gwyneth Paltrow and Bryce Dallas Howard put postpartum depression (PPD) back in the spotlight by sharing their experiences in an issue of GOOP, Paltrow’s lifestyle newsletter. Now a study out in the August 4, 2010, online issue of the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) sheds new medical light on the condition by showing that PPD may be more likely to strike new moms who experienced pregnancy complications or a difficult labor.
According the health analysis of more than 5,000 women (who gave birth in the Netherlands):
- women admitted to hospital during their pregnancy had more than twice the risk of PPD as those who stayed out of hospital until delivery time
- women who experienced preeclampsia were more than twice as likely to develop PPD than women without the complication
- having an emergency Cesarean section increased the risk of PPD at least 1.5 times
Researchers also noted that having one complication meant women were more than twice as likely to develop PPD. This risk rose to more than five times for women who encountered multiple complications.
For Your Health
Postpartum depression affects about 10 percent of new moms, developing anywhere from one week after to one year after delivery, says Dr. Laura Schiller, A New York City-based OB-GYN, in an interview with GOOP. According to Dr. Schiller, symptoms of PPD are similar to a major depression and include feelings of sadness, helplessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and having trouble sleeping, eating, and making choices.
“Sometimes she is not able to care for herself or her baby and she has a difficult time functioning at home and at work,” says Dr. Schiller. Most importantly, Dr. Schiller finds, women with PPD need treatment with counseling and sometimes medication so that the depression does not become worse and last even longer. If you do feel depressed, it’s important to share these feelings with your doctor or midwife.
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