Postpartum Depression and After Birth Anxiety

Today we know that more and more women are suffering in silence due to symptoms of Postpartum depression and anxiety. We also know that women are not the only ones who are dealing with this issue. Fortunately, men are becoming more aware and alert to their partner’s behavior, while also wondering how these symptoms will affect their relationship.

Access Cigna’s free online toolkit on maternal depression, including interactive depression assessment

A mother’s emotional health is as important as her physical health during pregnancy and after delivery. That’s why, during May, Maternal Depression Awareness Month, Cigna is encouraging soon-to-be and new mothers to get screened and understand the symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression.

“Having a new child is a very exciting and emotional time for the entire family,” said Dr. Doug Nemecek, senior medical director for Cigna’s behavioral health business. “While mood swings or bursts of crying are often caused by ‘the baby blues,’ it’s important for new parents to identify more serious mental health issues like postpartum depression or birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression is often not diagnosed or treated – talk to your doctor about preventive screening and treatment.”

Postpartum depression occurs in approximately 10 to 20 percent of women either during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Some of the signs of postpartum depression are feeling very sad, hopeless or empty; feeling afraid to be alone with the baby; loss of pleasure or interest in daily activities; loss of appetite or losing weight; difficulty sleeping, or an inability to concentrate.

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It is encouraging to know that a large insurance company has created a kit to help women.

Over the years, I have seen many couples who didn’t understand the changes that can happen after having a baby and didn’t know where to turn to get help with the problems they were experiencing.  In fact, even five to seven years after the baby is born, couples who come into therapy still talk about these issues because they’ve never really dealt with them and by that point, the conversation has often turned to deciding whether they want to stay together.

This correlates with the current research showing that many couples divorce on or before the 7 year mark. We need to help couples understand how to repair their relationships and sustain their marriages so families can stay together and flourish.

If you’ve turned your marriage around before it jeopardized your children, we’d love to hear from you.

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