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Postpartum Depression Linked to Increased Risk of Injury to Babies & Toddlers

May 25, 2008
Depression occurs commonly after childbirth. Baby Blues is a very common complaint after the birth of a child but postpartum depression can be a serious issue and must be addressed. Many mothers will experience mood swings, slight depression, and may have trouble concentrating.

Additionally the mother may also have difficulty sleeping even when the baby is sleeping. Loss of appetite is not uncommon. These symptoms usually start about 3 to 4 days after delivery and they may last several days. The new mother may be happy one minute and crying the next. This is known as Baby Blues.

The symptoms are normal and are usually gone after about ten days. Postpartum depression can last much longer. This depression can begin weeks or months after childbirth. Postpartum depression is an illness that requires treatment.

Symptoms can include the following:

# Sadness that is unexplained
# Frequent crying or tearfulness
# Restlessness
# Irritability
# Anxiousness
# Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
# Loss of appetite
# Decreased energy
# Lack of motivation
# Difficulty sleeping
# Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
# Weight gain or loss
# Feeling that life is not worth living
# Little interest in the baby

Just as a side note, in addition to those symptoms some women have thoughts of hurting themselves and or the baby. This is postpartum psychosis and obviously is very serious.

Postpartum depression affects approximately 15 to 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men. Fathers of nine month olds seem particularly likely to develop symptoms of major depression. This may be related to financial stress or changes in the spousal relationship. Some husbands feel the wife is more focused on the baby than on him and this adjustment can be difficult.

Symptoms of depression include the inability to concentrate or focus. Irritability is also common. These symptoms can result in poor or inconsistent supervision and or enforcement of safety related rules.
According to a recent study infants and toddlers (3 months to 2 years) of mothers suffering with postpartum depression are more likely to suffer accidental injuries than other children in the same age group. It is possible that this is related to the mothers not properly safeguarding the children.

Socio-economic status, parenting styles, sex of children, behavior or temperament of the children had little or no bearing on the link between the depression in the mothers and the injuries in the young children.

The study indicated that children three years old and above fared better. This may be due to the fact that children of this age group are beginning to make their own decisions related to safety.
About the Author
To learn more about depression, anxiety disorders and other topics of interest to women of all ages visit:
http://www.FitInsidenOut.com/gpage38.html
Debbie Allen is a writer, internet marketer and personal coach.
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