Essay on Postpartum Depression

Essay on Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum Depression
Works Cited Not Included

Introduction
What is Postpartum Depression

Having a baby should be one of the happiest and most important events in a woman?s life. However, although life with a new baby can be both thrilling and rewarding, it can also be a difficult and quite stressful task. Most women make the transition without great difficulty, yet some women experience considerable complexity that may manifest itself as a postpartum psychiatric disorder (O?hara, Hoffman, Philips, & Wright, 1992). Many physical and emotional changes can occur to a woman during the time of her pregnancy as well as following the birth of her child. These particular changes can leave a new mother feeling sad, anxious, afraid and confused. For many women, these feelings; which are known as baby blues, go away fairly quickly. But when they do not go away or rather they get worse, a woman may be experiencing the effects of postpartum depression (PPD). This is a serious condition that describes a range of physical and emotional changes and that requires prompt treatment from a health care provider. According to Mauthner, (1999) postpartum depression occurs when women are unable to experience, express and validate their feelings and needs within supportive, accepting and non-judgmental interpersonal relationships and cultural contexts.

Postpartum psychiatric illness was initially characterized as a group of disorders specifically linked to pregnancy and childbirth and thus was considered diagnostically distinct from other types of psychiatric illness. It has long been thought that the postpartum period is a time of increased risk for the onset of psychiatric disorders and adjustment difficulties in women (Campbell & Cohn, 1991). The link between reproductive status and depressive illness is further evidenced by the high frequency of depression during the premenstrual phase, and the immediate postpartum period (Yonkers, 1995). As one of the major physical, psychological, and social stresses of a woman's life, childbirth is gaining an increasing amount of recognition as a major risk factor in the growth of mental sickness. Postpartum depression is defined as a mild to moderate mood disturbance occurring between birth and six months post birth, rather than the less frequent, more severe postpartum psychosis, or the more prevalent but transient blues (Croken...


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...ression, have poor support, or who have other problems putting them at highest risk for postpartum depression, these patients need careful postpartum follow-up.

Conclusions

Postpartum depression is a common, frequently unrecognized, yet devastating disorder. This condition remains a commonly overlooked illness despite its potentially devastating consequences. During the postpartum phase of care, clinicians need to recognize the symptoms of depression and to realize that patients are embarrassed about feeling unhappy during a time when society expects them to be elated (Lee, 1997). Therefore, it is important to ask patients specifically about their mood and adjustment. The imperative keys to successful treatment are early identification and intervention. This is thoroughly effective and the ability to lessen the impact of this disease is compatible with the primary care provider?s role. Although debate continues regarding its cause, definition, problem-solving condition, as well as its existence as a distinct element, it remains a clear fact that this is a matter that has affected many relationships between mother and child and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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