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Need New Moms with Postpartum Depression do not Receive Treatment

December 15, 2011

Although the birth of a child, usually a joyful event, some new moms struggle with postpartum depression, and many of them do not receive necessary treatment. According to a report from the UK charity 4Children, almost half of new mothers who suffer postpartum depression do not seek professional help.
How common is postpartum depression?

Data on postpartum depression differ from each other. Although the often-quoted statistic is that it affects 10 to 15% of expectant mothers, a recent survey of 4Children more than 2,300 young mothers suggested that figure was closer to 31%. The study also showed that women who had more than one child, more likely to say they have experienced postpartum depression than mothers for the first time.

Postpartum depression is not the same as “baby blues”, which about 80% of new moms experience a period of 10 days after delivery. Symptoms of postpartum stress include feeling sad, being slightly depressed, and experiencing mood swings.

Postpartum depression is characterized by being miserable most of the time, feeling unable to cope, feeling an overwhelming concern for the child, crying for no reason, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, low energy, rejection from family and friends, difficulties in communication with the child, and feel themselves exhausted. These symptoms usually appear four to six weeks after delivery, are intensive and last for weeks or months.
New mothers do not receive treatment

By 4Children survey, 49% of new mothers with postpartum depression did not go to a professional for treatment. The first mothers less often (42%) than women with more than one child (54%), to seek professional help.

One-third of women with postpartum depression, said they were too afraid to tell others about your depression, because they feared what might happen to them or their child. Almost a third said they did not understand later that they are experiencing postpartum depression, and when they realize it, 60% said they did not think that their condition was serious enough to seek help. Thirteen percent had no support from the partner to seek help.

Among the young mothers who sought treatment, 70% were given antidepressants by their doctor and only 41% have access to counseling and therapy, which is recommended as an option for mild to moderate depression.

According to Anne Longfield, chief executive 4Children “, many families are suffering the effects of postpartum depression in silence, and even if they seek help, they too often face a wall of indifference and lack of empathy from health care professionals with more dependence on antidepressants for treatment.”
What dangers do not get treatment?

For most women who have mild postnatal depression, the symptoms disappear within 3 to 6 months, but for some new moms depression lasts longer. Implications of mothers suffering from long-term depression can have serious consequences for their children.

These mothers have fewer positive interactions with their children, and untreated or long-partum depression can also have negative effects on cognitive development and child language. 4Children report notes that postpartum anxiety can lead to “long-term consequences of poor early relationships,” difficult relationship, and excessive pressure on the older children care for their brothers and sisters of the child.

4Children report highlights the prevalence of postpartum depression, as well as the need for mothers to get treatment for this condition. While the recommendations offered in this report address the health care system in the United Kingdom, they are universal in nature and include raising awareness about postpartum depression, training on postpartum depression, as well as increased use of psychological treatments for expectant mothers.

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From → Depression

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