What are the risk factors for PPD?

Of all the questions I’m asked, the one that tops the list is the title of today’s post.  I wish I could positively predict who is likely to be diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, but it is still not an exact science. Having said that, there are several influences that can predispose a woman to develop postpartum depression or anxiety disorders. But, it’s important to state, we don’t have all the answers YET, and that sometimes we find symptoms can emerge without any of these risk factors being present.

Common risk factors include:

– A previous history of antepartum (before childbirth) or postpartum emotional disorders.

– A history of significant premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

– Symptoms of depression or severe anxiety during pregnancy.

– A personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric problems, unrelated

to childbirth.

– Having major stress in life or career, or experiencing a recent traumatic event.

– Lack of a support network, including family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers.

–  Relationship problems with a spouse or partner.

–  A history of physical and/or sexual abuse.

– A tendency toward perfectionism or unrealistic expectations.

– Having a previous loss of a pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth.

– Fertility treatments.

– Undergoing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

– Having faced a prior traumatic birth.

–  Experiencing loss during the perinatal period (such as preterm birth, infant respirator distress syndrome, or birth defects).

If you believe you have one or more of these risk factors, it’d be wise to discuss them with a physician or therapist trained in postpartum disorders. Together, you can better prepare for motherhood, while reducing the risk of any significant emotional problems.

 

 

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~ by ppdsus on March 12, 2013.

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