In the Know: Postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect a woman after giving birth. A mother suffering from postpartum depression experiences difficulty in doing daily care activities due to extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion.
According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, symptoms of postpartum depression include thoughts of the mother hurting herself or her baby and not having any interest in the baby.
Hormonal changes may trigger symptoms of postpartum depression, the OWH said on its website. Feeling tired after delivering a child or from lack of sleep, doubts about one’s ability to be a mother, stress from changes in work and home routines are some factors that play a role in postpartum depression.
In the 16th Congress, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed a bill to support research that would expand the understanding of the causes of postpartum depression and find a cure for it. It is estimated that there were 126,826 cases of postpartum depression in the Philippines in 2004, but Santiago noted that this number had been heavily measured through statistical extrapolation rather than an actual count.
In 2008, actress Claudine Barretto admitted that she suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth to a son in July 2007. She sought professional help and took medication. “People should understand that there are ways to deal with postpartum depression. It’s no joke,” she said in an Inquirer interview.
The World Health Organization estimated that around the world about 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression.–Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives, womenshealth.gov, who.int, nimh.nih.gov, senate.gov.ph
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