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Understanding Postpartum Depression

By: The Children's Institute

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is characterized by an onset of feelings like deep sadness, worthlessness, guilt, shame, and anxiety, within a year after giving birth that last more than two weeks. PPD is painful, can feel isolating, and more importantly, IT IS COMMON.

Women who experience PPD may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or like they are failing as a mother.

One in 7 women experiences postpartum depression

Though that number is likely higher, given the stigma around it. In recent years, however, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of addressing PPD and supporting women who experience it.

Here are four ways we can destigmatize PPD as individuals:

  1. Share personal stories of your struggle with PPD or becoming a parent in general

  2. Normalize seeking help

  3. Educate the public

  4. Involve partners, family members and friends in the discussion about PPD

How can therapy help women with postpartum depression?

  • By providing emotional support, identifying negative thought patterns, teaching coping skills, improving communication with partners/family, and addressing underlying issues.

  • Providing tools and support to manage symptoms, improve mood, and build a stronger support system.

Having a child and becoming a parent is a whirlwind. It is one of the biggest life changes a person can experience. It can bring so much joy and happiness into one’s life, but it can also be incredibly challenging. The immense pressure that society places on mothers often already breeds guilt and shame and with the addition of PPD, that shame can grow, especially in the shadows.

By working together to increase understanding, support, and resources for women with PPD, we can help to destigmatize PPD and ensure that women get the help they need to thrive.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with PPD, reach out to a therapist! Contact us today to get the help and support you need.
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