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Postpartum Risk Factors

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
WENDY, HAD POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: I want to have this baby. I just, you know, I want to start that part of my life you know?

ANNOUNCER: Wendy is looking forward to having her second baby. But because she suffered postpartum depression after her first - she knows it could happen again.

SHARI LUSSKIN, MD: If you've had postpartum depression once, you are at higher risk, at least 50%, for getting it again and for getting depression at other points in your life.

ANNOUNCER: A previous episode is just one of the things that increases a woman's risk of postpartum depression.

SHARI LUSSKIN, MD: Women who are under tremendous psychosocial stress have a higher risk of postpartum depression. Women who have marital problems, higher risk of postpartum depression. Women with a prior history of depression, higher risk of postpartum depression. Women with a history of any psychiatric disorder, probably at higher risk.

ANNOUNCER: Family history can play a role.

SHARI LUSSKIN, MD: Usually, in women who present with depression for the first time postpartum, there's a family history of depression. Without a doubt, there is a genetic vulnerability to this mood disorder.

ANNOUNCER: Untreated depression during pregnancy also makes a new mom more vulnerable.

SHARI LUSSKIN, MD: If you're depressed during the pregnancy, you're likely to be depressed postpartum. It's not like it magically goes away.

ANNOUNCER: Knowing her risk factors can be a woman's best defense.

SHARI LUSSKIN, MD: One of the things you can do is alert your physicians to your risk factors, your physicians and your other health care providers. Tell them about your risk factors, because if you get depressed, you may not be able to reach out for help.

ANNOUNCER: This time, Wendy feels she's prepared for whatever comes.

WENDY, HAD POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: I know what to expect. You know, I know that there is a possibility that this could happen, but I do also know that I can, you know, I'm gonna get better, if it does happen.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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