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51: Understanding Postpartum Depression

September 27, 2019

In Point of Health episode 51, "Understanding Postpartum Depression," Jennifer Johengen-Vogel, MS, RN, Vice President, Health Management for BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York sheds light on postpartum depression.

Episode Highlights

What is “postpartum depression”? (1:30)

Postpartum is the time period following childbirth, and postpartum depression is the mental health illness that affects women during that time. One in nine new moms experience postpartum depression.

Difference between "baby blues" and postpartum depression (2:15)

During the ten days post childbirth is when women feel most exhaust and feelings of sadness.However, following this window there can show signs of depression. These signs include:

  • Lack of appetite 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Weight loss/gain

When do symptoms start? (3:11)

Each case is unique in its own; symptoms can take up to six months to develop. It is advised to speak with your doctor about any symptoms you may have to get proper and immediate care for postpartum depression.

What can cause postpartum depression? (3:35)

The body takes 9 months to make a baby, carry a baby, deliver a baby, and eventually nurse a baby.  During this time, hormones are elevated. Then the body has to adjust rapidly after giving birth, so the fluctuation in hormone levels can lead to postpartum depression. 

Can it be avoided? (4:41)

Postpartum depression can't really be avoided.  If you have a history of depression or if you feel blue after giving birth, think about how to prepare to treat this and really work with your provider to get the help that you need.

Is there a diagnosis? (6:27)

There is definitely a diagnosis. It is important to be in contact with your provider during pregnancy to best understand how you're feeling and what's going on with you.

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