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Postpartum Depression In Teenage Mothers

Effects Of Adolescent Childbearing On Maternal Depression And Problem Behaviors: A Prospective Population

Mothers dealing with postpartum depression on long waitlist for help
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    Affiliations Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

  • Affiliations Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, Postgraduate Programme in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

  • Affiliation Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

  • Affiliations Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Tips For Managing Postpartum Stress Syndrome

Heres the good news: If you struggle with postpartum stress syndrome, professional support can make a huge difference and give you the tools to feel better.

Additionally, there are things you can do on your own that may help:

  • Hold boundaries. Dont be afraid to say no to others and protect your space. Its OK to tell someone you arent up for a visit. Setting boundaries is a form of self-care.
  • Accept help. At the same time, allow people to help you. Find those friends or family members that you trust and let them take care of you, whether its cooking, cleaning or just holding your baby while you shower.
  • Put your needs first. Let your own needs take precedence, Kleiman suggests. Its the same old story about the oxygen mask on the plane if you dont put yours on first, you cant help others.

Maybe most importantfor postpartum stress and all the phases of parenthoodaccept where you are with the knowledge that everything passes. Its OK to feel all the feels. Remind yourself that this is a stressful time when you will be vulnerable and susceptible to emotional upheaval, Kleiman advises new mamas. Thats perfectly OK.

Pawluski JL, Lonstein JS, Fleming AS. The neurobiology of postpartum anxiety and depression. Trends Neurosci. 2017 40:106-120. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2016.11.009

Seyfried LS, Marcus SM. Postpartum mood disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2003 15:231-242. doi:10.1080/0954026031000136857

What Is Postpartum Depression

In the first few weeks of caring for a newborn, most new moms feel anxious, sad, frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed. Sometimes known as the “baby blues,” these feelings get better within a few weeks. But for some women, they are very strong or don’t get better. Postpartum depression is when these feelings don’t go away after about 2 weeks or make it hard for a woman to take care of her baby.

It’s not anyone’s fault or a weakness when a woman gets postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is treatable. Treatment helps most women feel like themselves again. Then they can enjoy having a new baby at home.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from woman to woman. But common signs include:

  • feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
  • feeling worried, scared, or panicked
  • blaming yourself unnecessarily
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • trouble concentrating
  • not feeling attached to the baby
  • not wanting to do things that usually are enjoyable

Although it is very rare, some women have very serious symptoms such as:

  • thoughts of hurting the baby or themselves
  • hearing voices, seeing things that are not there, or feeling paranoid

How To Tell If You Have Postpartum Stress Syndrome Ppd Or Ppa

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If you are concerned about how you feel, the number one recommendation is to reach out for extra support and get proper care.

According to Kleiman, Well-trained providers can help determine whether the distress is a symptom of an anxiety or depressive disorder, or whether falls within the parameters of an adjustment disorder, such as postpartum stress syndrome.

Even with all the joy in becoming a parent, its not easy. Its totally normal to have hard days with tears. But Kleiman suggests taking a look at the frequency, intensity and duration of your challenging days. In other words, how much distress is it causing you? How much is it impairing your ability to function the way you usually function? she asks. If it feels unrelenting, its time to ask for help.

Also Check: Association Of Anxiety And Depression

How Depression Affects Fathers

According to a 2010 studyexternal icon using data from 1993 to 2007, approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year after their childs birth. By a childs 12th birthday, about 1 out of 5 fathers will have experienced one or more episodes of depression. Younger fathers, those with a history of depression, and those experiencing difficulties affording items such as a home or car were most likely to experience depression.

Give Yourself Time To Feel The Feels

When you are busy caring for a baby and are on all the time, it can be easy to push your feelings aside, or keep them bottled up. That only makes managing the symptoms of postpartum depression that much harder. You need to be able to feel the difficult feelings in order to move through them.

Of course, feeling everything at once can be intense! It can be helpful to carve moments into your day where you consciously sit down, close your eyes, and just let yourself feel.

You can add some deep breathing to this, or you can take a few moments to write down your feelings, or share them with a loved one. Either way, make time for this. You deserve it.

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Join An Online Support Group

These days, so many moms find their tribes online. There are so many online parenting support groups. Some may deal specifically with postpartum depression, but others may just have to do what a hobby, such as knitting or scrapbooking.

Whats great about online moms groups is that you can connect to other moms while you breastfeed your baby on the couch, or while youre up again feeding your baby in the middle of the night. There is true value in having that kind of a lifeline.

How Many Women Experience Depression

Zuranolone therapy to help new mothers cope with postpartum depression

Depression is a common and serious illness. A CDC studyexternal icon shows that about one 1 out of 10 women in the United States reported symptoms that suggest they experienced an episode of major depression in the last year. Using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System , CDC research shows that nationally, about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Estimates of the number of women affected by postpartum depression differ by age and race/ethnicity. Additionally, postpartum depression estimates vary by state, and can be as high as 1 in 5 women. View your states prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms using PRAMS.

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Interpersonal Therapy Based Intervention Reduces The Risk Of Postpartum Depression In Teen Mothers

Postpartum depression is a relatively common problem, affecting between 10% and 15% of women after delivery. Although it is difficult to reliably predict which women in the general population will experience postpartum mood disturbance, it is possible to identify certain subgroups of women who are more vulnerable. One such group is teen mothers, where the risk of PPD is about 25%.

Researchers from Brown University have developed a program specifically for teen mothers with the goal of reducing the risk of PPD. The intervention, the REACH program, is based on interpersonal therapy and is an adaptation of an interpersonal therapy based prevention intervention, which was found to be effective for reducing the risk of PPD. In a randomized controlled trial, 106 pregnant primiparous adolescents who were ?17 years old were assigned randomly to the REACH program or the attention and dose-matched control program . The women were assessed at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after delivery.

This intervention delivered during the prenatal period significantly reduced the risk for postpartum depression in primiparous adolescent mothers. The overall rate of depression in the intervention group was 12.5%, compared to 25% in the control group.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Phipps MG, Raker CA, Ware CF, Zlotnick C. Randomized controlled trial to prevent postpartum depression in adolescent mothers. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 208:192.e1-6.

Mental Health Conditions In Teen Moms

Teen moms might face a number of mental health conditions related to childbirth and being a new mom. Examples of these conditions include:

  • Baby blues: The baby blues are when a woman experiences symptoms for one to two weeks after giving birth. These symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, sadness, overwhelm, difficulty concentrating, trouble eating, and difficulty sleeping.
  • Depression: Being a teen mom is a risk factor for depression. If a mom has a baby before 37 weeks or experiences complications, depression risks can increase.
  • Postpartum depression: Postpartum depression involves more severe and significant symptoms than baby blues. Teen moms are twice as likely to experience postpartum depression as their adult counterparts. Women sometimes mistake postpartum depression for the baby blues. Baby blues symptoms will go away after a few weeks. Depression symptoms wont.

Additional symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • difficulty bonding with your baby
  • overwhelming fatigue

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Who Gets Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can affect any woman but some may be more at risk for developing it. Women who have had any kind of depression in the past or who have a family history of depression are more likely to get postpartum depression.

Other things that might increase the chance of postpartum depression include serious stress during the pregnancy, medical problems during the pregnancy or after birth, and lack of support at home.

Teen Mothers: How Can We Best Address Their Mental Health Needs

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The Good News: According to the CDC, rates of teen pregnancy are falling In the United States, 249,078 babies were born to women aged 1519 years in 2014. This represents a historic low for births among U.S. teens, a drop of 9% from 2013.

The Bad News: Pregnant teens especially when they dont have the support of their families often do not receive adequate prenatal care and are more likely to be poorly compliant with medical recommendations, including the use of folic acid which reduces the risk of certain types of birth defects. In addition, younger mothers are more likely to have pregnancy complications, including pregnancy-induced hypertension, preterm birth and low-birth-weight babies. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to experience developmental delays and behavioral problems.

But the risks of teen pregnancy extend far beyond delivery. Teen pregnancies are more common among women of color and those with lower education and lower socioeconomic status in this population, unplanned pregnancies reduce womens access to education and career opportunities and may contribute to educational and professional underachievement and poorer economic circumstances.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Hodgkinson S, Beers L, Southammakosane C, Lewin A. Addressing the mental health needs of pregnant and parenting adolescents. Pediatrics. 2014 133:11422.


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Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

How often postpartum depression symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they feel can be different for each person. The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms for depression, but may also include:

  • Crying more often than usual.
  • Feelings of anger.
  • Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
  • Worrying that you will hurt the baby.
  • Feeling guilty about not being a good mom or doubting your ability to care for the baby.

Statistics Of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a condition that takes many forms and can remain undiagnosed for long periods of time. Since awareness of postpartum depression first arose in the late 1980s, many studies have been conducted on the prevalence, risk factors and successful treatment rates of it among the worlds population.

Thanks to these studies, we now have important data that sheds light on the pervasiveness and magnitude of this global mental health issue.

Below are some of the top statistics from a number of studies and sources spanning the last several decades.

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Mood Disorders Put Teens At Risk For Unplanned Pregnancy Increase The Chances Of Postpartum Depression And Make Parenthood Harder

Teen moms face plenty of challenges, from dealing with the shame and stigma of an unplanned pregnancy to finishing school and finding employment. But many must also deal with the challenges of mental illness. Researchers have found that twice as many teen moms are at risk of developing postpartum depression as their older counterparts. And nearly three times as many teens with mental illness get pregnant as adolescents without a disorder.

The high rate of PPD among teen mothersAccording to a survey of 6,400 Canadian women published in the journal Pediatrics in May 2012, the highest incidence of postpartum depression occurred among girls age 15 to 19 at a rate twice as high as PPD in moms older than 25.

Although research on the incidence and causes of PPD in teens is scant, a study published in the August 2014 issue of Maternal and Child Health Journal found a correlation in teen moms between increased stress from parenting and the risk of postpartum depression.

That connection makes sense to Gloria Malone, who gave birth to her daughter four days shy of her 16th birthday. “I was so busy taking care of my baby, packing her diaper bag and my backpack in the morning so she could go to daycare and I could go to school,” says Malone, now 24 and a teen mom advocate in New York City. “There was no time for myself, and no one stopped to ask me,’how are you feeling?’ Mental health was not on my radar.”

Antenatal And Postpartum Depression: Prevalence And Associated Risk Factors Among Adolescents In Kwazulu


Desiree Govender

1KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, South Africa

2School of Nursing and Public Health, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

3Developing Research Innovation Localisation and Leadership Fellow, South Africa

Academic Editor:


1. Introduction

Depression during pregnancy and in the postpartum period is a major public health concern as it affects both mothers and their babies . Antenatal depression, which is often underdiagnosed, has been associated with preterm labour , spontaneous abortion, low birth weight , and intrauterine growth restriction . Research has demonstrated that postpartum depression is associated with mother-infant bonding impairment, child abuse, child neglect, maternal substance abuse, and self-harm . Maternal depression has also been linked to poor weight gain and impaired cognitive and motor development in infants . Postpartum depression has been described as a thief that steals motherhood , particularly as depressed mothers may prematurely discontinue breastfeeding due to the reduction of breast milk production six months postpartum . Moreover, the depressed state of mothers can also induce depression in infants .

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Data Source
2.2. Study Design and Setting
2.3. Measurement Instrument
2.4. Data Collection
2.5. Data Analysis
2.6. Ethical Considerations

3. Results

3.1. Social, Obstetric, and Clinical Demographics of the Participants

4. Discussion

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Statistics On Postpartum Depression Types

Part of spreading awareness about postpartum depression understanding that this condition can take many forms. Here are some statistics regarding the rates and risk factors of specific types of postpartum depression:

  • Between 1 and 2 women out of every 1,000 will develop postpartum psychosisa severe and potentially deadly disorder.
  • Women who have a history of bipolar disorder are 40% more likely to develop postpartum psychosis.
  • Tragically, 10% of postpartum psychosis cases result in suicide or infanticide.
  • One study found that over 60% of women with postpartum depression also had signs of postpartum anxiety disorder, a condition that isnt always associated with depression.

Where Can I Get Help

If you have symptoms of postpartum depression, get help right away. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will feel better. Start by talking to your health care provider . They can:

  • Prescribe medicines to help you.
  • Recommend that you see a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health worker for treatment.
  • Do blood tests to make sure something else isn’t causing your symptoms.

If you don’t have a health care provider, you can get help online at:

If you are thinking about hurting yourself or your baby or if you hear or see things that aren’t there, get help right away.

You can:

  • Go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach them online.
  • Contact the National Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S., anytime, about any type of crisis.

Read Also: How To Get Out Of A Depressed Mood

Factors Associated With Postpartum Depression Among Adolescents In Uganda

Catherine Atuhaire, Samuel Nambile Cumber

Corresponding author: Samuel Nambile Cumber, Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Box 414, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Received: 01 Mar 2018 – Accepted: 10 Jun 2018 – 25 Jun 2018

Domain: Adolescent health,Health Research,Public health

Keywords: Postpartum, depression, risk factors, adolescents, Uganda

©Catherine Atuhaire et al. Pan African Medical Journal . This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article: Catherine Atuhaire et al. Factors associated with postpartum depression among adolescents in Uganda. Pan African Medical Journal. 2018 30:170.

Available online at:

Original article

What Is Postpartum Stress Syndrome

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Postpartum stress syndrome is a type of adjustment disorder where an external, stressful event triggers feelings of unrelenting stress that are much more intense than expected. With postpartum stress syndrome you have a profound need to be the perfect mother but feel you are failing at the job.

Mothers with postpartum stress syndrome are crippled with anxiety, disappointment and major self-doubt that translates to intolerable stress.

The postpartum experience is a whirlwind of love and exhaustion. Most new mamas can attest that it doesnt matter how many parenting books you read, theres no way to truly grasp how profoundly life changes after having a baby. You may have a vision of what life will look like as a new mother, but the leaking breasts, barely showered, what did I do all day reality doesnt always match up.

When Karen Kleiman, founder of The Postpartum Stress Center wrote the book This Isnt What I Expected in 1994, she and her co-author Dr. Valerie Davis discovered just how many women were struggling. In our clinical practices, mothers were describing experiences of loss, grief, intense anxiety, pervasive worry, along with strong feelings of doubt, lack of confidence and guilt, Kleiman shares with Motherly.

While its true that a new baby can lead anyone to second-guess themselves, for mothers with postpartum stress syndrome, that feeling never goes away.

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