Mental Illness Project: Postpartum Depression shayna cloutier, Grade 10, human physiology

Postpartum depression is a depression suffered by mothers during pregnancy or up to a year after childbirth. This depression does not have a specific cause, however, factors that are thought to contribute are a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustments to motherhood, family history, life experiences, and fatigue.

1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression. In the past, 6%-13% of women in Canada have suffered with postpartum depression. Approximately 600,000 women in the USA suffer from postpartum depression.

Signs that a mother could be dealing with postpartum depression: there is a change in their mood, they could be easily aggravated, they could have a change in appetite, they may withdraw from their social life, have a loss of concentration and energy, have trouble sleeping, and have thoughts of death and suicide.

The mothers may be unable to care for their child, are afraid to be alone with their child, worry intensely about the baby/ worry too little about the baby, and they may even have thoughts of harming their child.

Famous people who suffered postpartum depression: Gwyneth Paltrow, Hayden Panettiere, Brooke Shields, Courtney Cox, and Kendra Wilkinson.

To treat postpartum depression, you can use medication and/or therapy. It is recommended that you use both treatments, because although the medication will help, it is good to talk to someone about your problems and get advice on how to deal with them.

To learn more about support and resources in your area, contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association. You could also attend a support group. Make sure you always have good social support from friends and family.

"Not just another case of the baby blues."
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Shayna Cloutier
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