Postpartum Depression StatisticsPostpartum Depression Statistics

The School of Pharmacy at UCSF recently published a study on depression, pregnancy and postpartum. The study concludes that “10-20 percent of women suffer from new-onset depression during pregnancy and after giving birth.” In other words, 1-2 out of every 10 women who have never experienced depression will during pregnancy or right after giving birth.

The following finding within the study is more concerning.

This finding truly inspired the Postpartum Project. “In addition, even when the pregnant women were diagnosed with depression, the study found fewer than half received any treatment, versus 72 percent receiving treatment in the non-pregnant control group. Women suffering postpartum depression were similarly under-treated.”

In other words if you are a depressed woman who is not pregnant, you will have a higher likelihood of being taken seriously and or raising your voice and reaching out for help.  I believe as a culture we are especially hard on ourselves when it comes to parenthood. We expect to be flawless parents. We are all both weak and strong, that is what makes us human. I actually blame psychotherapy on this especially unforgiving expectation we have of ourselves as parents.  When we walk into a psychotherapists office, the clinician is trained to analyze your family system for good reasons, but we have so many systems that influence us.  We have the education system, the religious system, the cultural system. The family system is one of many systems that influence our overall mental and physical health.  When we ignore these systems, we are left further isolating the family.

The postpartum depression stigma proliferates.  Isolation hurts. Wellness visits are simple check ins by clinicians trained in the assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety. Please feel free to click on the following link to read further regarding the study. With more accurate education, and more communication, we can treat mothers and fathers earlier and help them return to their prior base line of contentment and wellness.

After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn’t care no more about him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people. (1.4)  Huck Finn