Moms, don't forget about yourself because children aren't the only ones who can get sick. In fact there's a dangerous illness for moms we've been learning a lot more about lately, post partum depression.
You've heard a lot about moms and mental illness lately, the shocking story of a mother who drowned her own children, but that type of disorder is a lot more common than you think although almost never that severe! Cheryl Ward, a counselor at Bootheel Counseling Center says, "A lot of times women feel ashamed they're not ecstatic about childbirth and about having a baby, instead they're consumed with depression, anxieties, and sometimes withdrawal." They're feelings that some new moms go through and may ignore. What they may not realize is they're going through some sort of postpartum depression. It's a psychological disorder, that can affect a woman's mood, thinking, and concentration after she gives birth
The most common form of postpartum depression is called baby blues. It's very common, up to 80 percent of all new moms experience baby blues. Signs include mild depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems, but it doesn't last long. Baby blues are usually gone within 14 days after giving birth.
Then there's postpartum depression. This is more severe and affects around 20 percent of new mothers. A woman may not show symptoms until four weeks, to six months after giving birth. Symptoms include uncontrollable crying, persistent sadness, loss of appetite, irritability, moodiness, and lack of interest in baby. Postpartum depression can be treated, but it can get worse if a woman doesn't get help.
Then there's postpartum psychosis. This is very severe and much more rare. Only about one to three percent of all new moms experience postpartum psychosis. A woman suffering with postpartum psychosis, the kind of disorder Andrea Yates' attorneys say she suffers from, may be self destructive, have irrational behavior, and may be having hallucinations about her baby. Women suffering with this must be hospitalized to get better.