Could Longer Maternity Leave Prevent Postpartum Depression?

(HealthDay News) — Having a longer maternity leave reduces a woman’s risk of postpartum depression, new research shows.The findings suggest that the maximum 12 weeks of maternity leave given to American mothers under federal law may be inadequate, according to the University of Maryland researchers.”In the United States, most working women are back to work soon after giving birth, with the majority not taking more than three months of leave,” study leader Dr. Rada Dagher said in a university news release.

via Could Longer Maternity Leave Prevent Postpartum Depression?.

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A Nurse Who Lends an Ear May Ease Anxiety in Moms of Preemies

(HealthDay News) — One-on-one talks with nurses help mothers of premature infants cope with feelings of anxiety, confusion and doubt, a new study reveals.

"Having a prematurely born baby is like a nightmare for the mother," Lisa Segre, an assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Nursing, said in a university news release. "You’re expecting to have a healthy baby, and suddenly you’re left wondering whether he or she is going to live."

Segre and a colleague investigated whether women with premature babies would benefit from having a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse sit with them and listen to their concerns and fears.

via A Nurse Who Lends an Ear May Ease Anxiety in Moms of Preemies.

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Postpartum Depression

Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt

Postpartum depression is the cruelest form of depression, coming when it does. Your most joyful (albeit totally sleep-deprived) time becomes your most torturous. After I had my son, I was certainly sleep deprived, but my overwhelming emotion was wonder and absolute content. My parents told me that I was a natural mother. Certainly taking care of my son came much more easily than I had expected, and I had less self-doubt than I had anticipated.

Of course, with my history of depression, I went back on antidepressants right away (I decided not to breastfeed, since I also had to immediately start taking the medication for my Multiple Sclerosis again). I didn’t want to lose one minute of my time with my son to depression, and I knew that a mother’s depression could affect her infant. Luckily, I didn’t have one moment of postpartum depression. I didn’t even suffer from the “baby blues,” a milder form of postpartum depression, that usually starts a few days after the birth. The baby blues generally lasts less than 2 weeks, and is thought to be caused by the hormonal change and loss of endorphins after the birth.

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