Did you know that 1 in 7 mothers experience postpartum depression but only 15% receive care? The March of Dimes is working to urge Congress to pass a bill that will bring postpartum depression out of the shadows to ensure that mothers get the proper mental health care they need. This very important legislation will make it easier for women to get the screening and treatment they need for postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common health problem for new mothers. In fact, between 9-16% of moms experience PPD in the first year after the birth of their baby.
We’re not sure what causes PPD but it can happen to any woman after she’s given birth. It’s possible that PPD may be due to changing hormone levels after pregnancy. Also, PPD can happen any time after childbirth. But it most often starts within 1 to 3 weeks of having a baby.
While we don’t know the exact cause of PPD, we do know that there are some things that may make you more likely than other women to have PPD:
- You’re younger than 20.
- You’ve had PPD, major depression or other mood disorders in the past. You may have been treated for these conditions. Or you may have had signs of them, but never saw a health care provider for treatment.
- You have a family history of depression. This means that one or more people in your family has had depression.
- You’ve recently had stressful events in your life.
If you think you may have PPD, see a health care provider right away. PPD is a medical condition that needs treatment to get better. The vast majority (90%) of mothers with PPD can be treated successfully. But first, PPD needs to be diagnosed. Getting treatment early can help both you and your baby.
Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support legislation to increase access to PPD screening and ensure all affected women get the treatment they need. Help us to help moms suffering in silence.