What Postpartum Depression Is
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Postpartum depression is one problem new moms face after pregnancy. In this episode of The Lab, Daddy Clay and Daddy Brad talk with psychologist Jan Morris to get the facts on PPD. She explains the difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues in mothers. Learn what the symptoms are and if treatment with therapy or medications is helpful. Find out if dads experience PPD.


What Postpartum Depression Is Male: In today’s episode, we’re talking about a serious object that touches many, many new families, postpartum depression. Male: Today’s episode is brought to you by Baby Bjorn, architect certified safe for your baby, Baby Bjorn. Male: To get an understanding of what postpartum depression is what its symptoms are and how it can be treated. We spoke with Dr Janice Morris, a family therapist and specialist in postpartum depression. Dr Janice Morris: Before defining postpartum depression, first we’ll talk about baby boost. Baby boost is by far the most common. It occurs in 50-80% of new mothers. It happens about three days after birth and last for a couple weeks. It’s associated with that sudden drop in hormones after birth. And new moms will feel irritable, crying for no apparent reason, impatient. With enough rest and nutrition and support a family and friends. It usually goes away by itself, after that its postpartum depression. If they don’t get better and onset is usually within six weeks but sometimes postpartum symptoms can appear for 6-12 months postpartum. It occurs in one in ten new moms, so it’s still pretty common. The key symptoms are sleep disturbance. Now a lot of new moms have sleep disturbance because the baby doesn’t sleep well. But if she can’t sleep when the baby is sleeping that’s one hallmark. Another is guilt. Moms with postpartum depression feel guilty about not doing a good enough job. They worry. They're not bonding with the baby. They don’t have the right feelings for the baby and so there are two hallmarks. But in addition to that, you’ll find that their crying a lot. They might have difficulty getting out of bed. They’re feeling a lot of self-doubt, a self criticism, maybe thoughts of “I just like to get in the car and drive away and never come back”, sometimes suicidal idealization thoughts of harming the baby. Postpartum OCD occurs in about 2% of new moms and it’s characterized by these intrusive thoughts that seem to come out of the blue. These ideas like “I could harm the baby”, “I could drop the baby”, “I could drop the baby off the balcony”, “I don’t like being around sharp knives”. A mom will say, “I don’t think I would ever do this but I can't get this out of my head and it’s really upsetting”. Does it mean I'm a bad person? Is this normal? One of the first easy kind of easy things that your dads can do to help is to see if you can sit down with his wife and strategize about how she can get three nights of uninterrupted sleep. Whatever way that could happen. Sleep is enormously restorative and one she feels like she’s a little more rested, she doesn’t feel swap in this really bad feelings. He could suggest that they go together to see a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression. That kind of therapy is a little different from conventional therapy, so it helps to see somebody who knows something about it. And that therapist can help them decide if it would be appropriate and helpful to see a psychiatrist. There are psychiatrists who are trained specifically in the kinds of medications that are safe for the mommy’s breastfeeding. And these kinds of things, you can either try to tolerate the thoughts but if they’re disturbing your sleep and disturbing your quality of life. There are medications and there is therapy available. Male: Obviously, this video is about postpartum depression in moms but a recent study in the journal of the American Medical Association showed that up to 10% of dads experienced some kind of depression between the first trimester and that first birthday. Male: You know, that’s not entirely surprising statistic but postpartum depression is a family. If she want to know this first hand because of our oldest child, he didn’t get a copy of the birth plan evidently because instead of being born naturally. He was ten weeks premature by caesarian section. And the different between those two things really cause my wife a tough time. He definitely suffered in their baby blues or postpartum depression had a very rocky period after the baby was born. And really kind of put me in the front position taking care of a little guy in the nick hill. So, I understand. I really wished that we had more resources available to us then and I hope that you will take advantage of the ones that out there now. Male: Now, if you have questions about postpartum depression or you have experiences to share, leave a comment on this video or here to DadLoves.com and join the conversation there. We want to thank Dr Janice Morris for lending here expertise to this video and also thank you very much to Baby Bjorn for making this video possible. We’ll see you next time here on the lab.