A family in trouble

A family in trouble

Can Postpartum depression cause a woman to not want her child

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  1. I am not a doctor by any means, but I have heard of cases of women who suffer from severe postpartum depression. They are not thinking clearly and we might not understand how they are feeling. I’m sure every situation is different and in some instances this could be the case. I would think that seeking medical help immediately is the best option for this family.

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  2. Hi Matthew,
    Yes, one of the symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) is difficulty bonding with your baby. Others include anger and irritability, fatigue, severe mood swings, and withdrawal. If any of these symptoms are intense, last longer than 2 weeks or make it difficult for mom to care for herself or the baby it is important to seek help immediately. She can speak to her obstetrician or pediatrician.

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  3. Thanks for asking a difficult question Matthew. Like Dr. Raquel said, postpartum depression can definitely appear as a mother not wanting her baby: she may not want to hold or feed her baby, or may state that she is no good at taking care of the baby and ask someone else to (sometimes this is out of anxiety as the mother thinks she wants to hurt her baby). I can’t stress enough that this does NOT mean she is a bad or careless mother – PPD is truly a medical diagnosis that can cause these feelings. It is very important that a woman in this situation be supported, not be judged, and get evaluation/treatment ASAP. If she shows any signs of hurting herself or the baby she needs to be brought to an emergency department immediately. Our article here has more information (http://bit.ly/1BVE7EX) as does the website Postpartum Support International (http://www.postpartum.net/).

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  4. Hi Matthew,
    This is such an important question to ask. Dr. Raquel and Dr. Jennifer have summarized how PPD can lead to a woman questioning her parenting skills and even her desire to be a parent. I second that Postpartum Support International is a wonderful resource when a mom is struggling. They have local coordinators who can help connect you with therapists who are specially trained to address the spectrum of postpartum mood disorders, including postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, and postpartum psychosis. It is so important to encourage a woman to ask for help, or to seek help if you are the one suffering, but it is also essential to make sure the therapist she works with has the proper background and training to give her the appropriate care she needs. Therefore, be sure when finding a caregiver to ask about their experience working with postpartum issues.

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