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Postpartum Happiness  is a reality you deserve!  Plan Now.

Ten Common Fantasies of Motherhood

  1. This should be the happiest time in my life.
  2. I should be able to do everything myself.
  3. I shouldn’t need breaks from my child.
  4. My life won’t change that much.
  5. My needs shouldn’t matter.
  6. Bonding happens immediately at birth.
  7. Breastfeeding is natural, so it should come easily.
  8. Mothering is instinctual.
  9. I should feel satisfied being a stay at home mom.
  10. My baby will be my companion.


By Shoshana Bennett, PhD


If you wonder if you are experiencing postpartum depression, please call me to discuss Postpartum Coaching, or visit
  • Wednesday Chats for Women and First Monday Chats for Men
    Chat Number: 1-800-944-8766
    Participant Code 33702  

    Postpartum Support International hosts free, live phone sessions every week, including Wednesday chats for moms and first Monday chats for dads. During these sessions you can connect with other moms and dads, and talk with a PSI expert about resources, symptoms, options and general information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders from the privacy of your own phone. There is no need to pre-register or give your name. These sessions, facilitated by licensed mental health professionals, are informational only and open to anyone with questions and concerns.

  •  For tips on managing depression, mood swings during pregnancy or postpartum:



    • 800,000 women each year (1,200 women everyday) or approximately 20% of all women who give birth will experience some degree of postpartum depression (PPD).
    • 50 - 80% will experience "Postpartum Blues."
    • 10 - 18% of all pregnant women will experience pre-partum (antepartum) depression. Of these, 80% will develop PPD.
    • 1-3/1,000 will experience postpartum psychosis (PPP).

    Recurrence rate:
    PPD = 66%
    PPP = 33%

    • 90% realize something is "wrong."
    • 20% reported their symptoms to a healthcare provider.
    • Average time of PPD onset = 2 months.
    • Average time it takes women to seek treatment = 4 months.
    • 1 in 10 mothers will have delayed bonding.
    • 1 in 100 mothers will have hostile feelings toward their infants.
    • 1 in 50,000 will actually commit infanticide.
    • 25% left untreated do not recover

    10 Key Facts About Maternal Mental Health

    1. It is a myth that pregnancy is a universally glowing, happy time and that new parenthood is "the most wonderful time in your life."
    2. The reality is that symptoms of depression and anxiety occur in ten to twenty percent of expectant and new mothers. This means that these emotional symptoms are the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting up to 800,000 women per year in the USA.
    3. Depression and anxiety during pregnancy can decrease blood flow through the umbilical cord, resulting in low birth weight, small head circumference, and possible effects on the baby's brain development.
    4. Depression and anxiety in the mother after birth can affect the parent-child relationship, resulting in developmental, learning, and behavioral problems in the child.
    5. Postpartum depression is a misnomer; symptoms of anxiety in new mothers are more common.
    6. Women are not to blame! Maternal mental illness is not a weakness, and women cannot will themselves better. Women with a personal or family history of emotional difficulties are at greatest risk.
    7. Warning signs during pregnancy or postpartum includes difficulties with sleeping, eating, or caring for herself or the baby, thoughts about hurting herself or the baby, or intense feelings of energy, anxiety, or sadness.
    8. Postpartum obsessions, thought about harm that can come to the baby, affect 3-5% of new mothers. These thoughts represent no danger to the baby, and can be distinguished from postpartum psychosis, where there is risk for the baby.
    9. Education is the first line of defense, because realistic expectations about new parenthood can decrease the occurrence of depression and anxiety.
    10. Help is available! These disorders are treatable.


    Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

    If you are experiencing any of the following:

    • Crying for “no reason”
    • Feelings of inadequacy
    • Difficulty making decisions
    • Asking directions for simple tasks
    • Forgetfulness, confusion
    • Failure to keep appointments
    • Fear of being alone
    • Anxiety and/or panic attacks
    • Nervousness, shaking or trembling
    • Dizziness, heart pounding, chest pains
    • Fantasies of disaster, bizarre fears, intrusive thoughts
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Significant changes in eating patterns
    • Sleep disturbances
    • No interest in previously enjoyable activities
    • Withdrawal and isolation from family and friends
    • Breastfeeding problems
    • Inability to touch or care for baby
    • Feelings of not wanting the baby
    • Desire to leave family, feeling trapped
    • Angry feelings toward husband, baby, or self
    • Hostility, tantrums, “feeling out of control”
    • Thoughts of hurting self or baby
    • Compulsive behaviors, checking and rechecking things
    • Increased alcohol consumption or drug use
    • Unresolved feelings about a complicated delivery and/or postnatal complications


    Call me, 938-3616, Gretchen. If I can't help, I'll find someone who can. There is hope.

    Postpartum Depression

    By Ilyene Barsky, ACSW, LCSW

    Postpartum depression (PPD) is a real and common occurrence that is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or overlooked. Many underestimate the seriousness of PPD and dismiss it as the "baby blues" which is a temporary and short-lived condition.

    The majority of new mothers are not prepared for any severe depression and most baby care books barely touch upon it. A mother who has had babies before may have experienced PPD, but even for her and especially for a new mother, it usually comes as a complete surprise. And when it hits, it is terrifying. The woman often feels embarrassed, ashamed, and tremendously guilty.

    PPD can happen to virtually any women regardless of age, race, religion, level of education, or socioeconomic background. It is important to remember that the woman suffering from PPD is only a human being caught in the midst of an emotional illness. It it imperative that educators, counselors, etc., be able to distinguish the differences between transient "baby blues" and chronic, debilitating PPD.

    Fifty to eighty percent of all women delivering in U.S. hospitals may experience "baby blues." Symptoms include fatigue, unprovoked crying, anxiety, confusion, and disorientation. No specific treatment for this condition is considered necessary by healthcare professionals. The "baby blues" are believed to be caused by a dramatic drop in hormone levels that accompany childbirth. Most importantly, the "baby blues" are transient in nature and self-limiting.

    Like the "baby blues," PPD is a hormonally and biochemical induced reaction to the body's upheaval in the giving birth. However, unlike the "baby blues" which usually has an early onset (within the first two weeks postpartum), PPD can occur anytime within the first year postpartum. Whereas the "baby blues" begin and end suddenly, the onset of PPD is usually slow and insidious.

    PPD may begin as the "baby blues" and develop or it can have a later onset. Whereas the primary symptom of the "baby blues" is anxiety, PPD is marked primarily by depression. Symptoms include crying for no apparent reason, numbness, helplessness, frightening feelings and thoughts, over-concern for the baby or no feelings for the baby, insomnia, change in appetite, anger, anxiety, guilt, lack of interest in sex, an inability to concentrate, a compulsive need to talk or to withdraw, exaggerated highs or lows, feelings or inadequacy and an inability to cope with day to day activities.

    The incidence of PPD in the mild to moderate range is estimated at 10 - 20% of all births. Healthcare professionals tend to minimize the importance and impact of this disorder. However, if left untreated, mild to moderate depression may become progressively severe.

    It is impossible to accurately predict which women will become depressed after delivery. Some women seem to run a significantly higher risk than others.

    The following factors indicate a higher than average risk:

    • depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy
    • an episode of PPD after a previous birth
    • a history of mood illness not related to childbearing
    • parents or siblings with histories of mood illness
    • an alcoholic, abusive or sociopathic father in the home while the woman was a child
    • separation from a parent during childhood
    • an unhappy or highly stressed childhood
    • an anxious personality stucture
    • an unwanted pregnancy
    • a long, difficult, or complicated labor
    • an unsupported labor
    • a birth experience that failed to fulfill unrealistic expectations
    • delivering a premature, compromised, or defective baby.

    If a pregnancy woman is aware of having some of these factors in her personal history, she would consider herself at risk and seek counseling during both her pregnancy and the postpartum period.

    The at risk woman requires superior nutrition, adequate rest, and above all, emotional and psychological support during and after the pregnancy.

    You can find products for supporting your postpartum at:


    -things like Sheep's Placenta, Mama Herbal Set, Balance, Happy Juice.

    This is a great website for support...

    There are many ways to discover if you have postpartum depression.

    Please seek help immediately. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for your body and mind to recover.
    Types of help include: hormonal support, talk therapy support, antidepressant support. You can choose natural supplements, or prescription medicines. Research has shown that antidepressants are not moving into breastmilk. Read about your options. Take care of yourself. Call me. I'm here to help. 968-3616
    For the Edinburgh Self Assessment, click here.
    This is Beck's scale. It's a quick test to take for self-assessment.

    Help is available!

    Take one of these screening tests. Ask for help immediately.