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Are You Predisposed to Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a very common condition that can strike any woman after her pregnancy. Symptoms can range from feeling blue to debilitating depression. Today, Parents Ask expert Erin O'Brien offered tips for new moms trying to cope during this dark period, and now OB/GYN Dr. Jason Rothbart discusses whether women can tell if they'll suffer from PPD:

Q:  I have never suffered from depression, however, during my last pregnancy, I was depressed all the time. Is that common? And if so, do you then become predisposed to suffer from postpartum depression? 

A: With all the wonders and joys that come with pregnancy, there are also countless changes that are annoying, inconvenient, frustrating and very worrisome. Depression is high on this list. With the massively high levels of hormones swirling throughout the body, it is extremely common for emotions to be very labile, ranging from extremely happy to very depressed. Everyone wants a pregnant woman to be ecstatic all the time, but so often the hormones, coupled with fears of the unknown, finances, being tired all the time, can leave a pregnant woman feeling simply "over it" and this can very quickly lead to depression, which can predispose a woman to postpartum depression. But very often the reward of holding their newborn little baby is all a new mother needs to feel that it was all worth it. That being said, postpartum depression can be very scary and women should always feel comfortable talking with their obgyn about how they are feeling so that they can get help. No pregnant woman has to go through any of it alone. Ever.


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