The only person I know who struggled with postpartum depression was a friend’s sister. She had postpartum every time she had a child. Thankfully, she recovered from each bout of depression and was able to successfully raise her children, but from what she says, it was pretty awful to go through.

Postpartum depression
can affect anyone, but it’s heavily tied to women’s emotions about pregnancy as well. A study published in An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology says that women with unplanned pregnancy re more than four times as likely to experience postpartum than other women.

When it develops, postpartum begins within about twelve months of giving birth and women start experiencing overwhelming or debilitating feelings of anger, hopelessness, and sadness all associated with being a mom or with having a child. It can be crippling and without the proper help, it can last for years.

The study was conducted at the University of North Carolina in the prenatal clinics. The participants were questioned about their pregnancy intention at the 15-19 weeks gestational age. The women were classified as having an intended, mistimed, or unwanted pregnancy. There were 433 women who answered that they had an intended pregnancy, 207 with a mistimed pregnancy, and 40 women with an unwanted pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy was defined in the study as both mistimed and unwanted pregnancies. The data was analyzed for 688 women at three months and 550 women at twelve months, and the results showed that women with unplanned pregnancies at both three and 12 months were more likely to experience postpartum depression.

Women can also develop postpartum anxiety, but it’s not as easy to diagnose because some people often associate it with natural motherly instincts or with just being a first-time mom. It’s characterized by feelings of intense worry or unease that something is going to happen. Your thoughts are constantly racing and they don’t slow down. You can become obsessed with things around your house that could cause harm to your baby and you start to avoid them. You have to constantly check on your infant to make sure they’re breathing, and you can’t stop thinking of terrible scenarios and “what if” questions.

Source: Wiley (2013, May 7). Women with unintended pregnancy are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. ScienceDaily.

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