STATEWIDE - The baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis. Three diseases 15% of expecting mothers will fall victim to.
For about half of the women diagnosed, this is their first case of depression.
"Being a mother should be like the most natural thing in the world, but there’s no rulebook about how to do it," says clinical psychologist Dr. Diana Prescott.
Hormone levels change once a woman has given birth, impacting mood and behavior, causing what is known as the baby blues.
P. Lynn Ouellette, MD, an adult and perinatal psychiatrist explains, "The baby blues should be gone by about two weeks and if it's hanging on then you have to start wondering."
Although nurses warn new mothers, it can be difficult to understand what is happening.
"More often than not women don't seek out help because they don't really identify that it's depression they are experiencing," says Ouelette.
Warning signs include anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and loss of pleasure or interest.
For those suffering from the less common and more severe postpartum psychosis, behavior is even more alarming.
"In a full blown psychosis a person might think people are out to get them. They might see or hear things that aren’t there," says Prescott.
Professionals point to sensationalized incidents, like the Connecticut mother shot after trying to drive through a barrier at the White House in October, as creating stereotypes of postpartum depression, derailing mothers from seeking help.
Regardless of what help you may need, medical professionals are willing to help. In part two we’ll explore treatment options and a postpartum depression project rooted in Maine.
Jaclyn Cangro joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in September of 2013. She was raised in suburban New York and graduated cum laude from Emerson College with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2013.
While at Emerson, she won the 2012 New England Emmy Award for Best College Newscast as co-executive producer. She was also nationally ranked by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) as one of the Top 20 Sports Broadcasters in the country, being one of two females on the list.
When not on the air, she enjoys watching and rooting for the New York Mets and New England Patriots.
She’s excited to explore all Maine has to offer! If you have any story ideas, contact her at JCangro@wvii.com or tweet her @jaclyncangro.