It wasn’t until Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to her second child, Moses, that she began her struggle with postpartum depression. I felt like a zombie. I couldnt access my heart. I couldnt access my emotions. I couldnt connect, Gwyneth, 38, says in the February issue of Good Housekeeping. It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldnt believe it wasnt the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.
Contrary to the popular belief that pregnancy is a biologically protective and emotionally joyful time, women are actually quite vulnerable to a spectrum of psychiatric disorders throughout the perinatal period – the time around pregnancy and postpartum. This range of disorders, more commonly referred to under the umbrella term of postpartum depression, is more accurately reflected by the terms postpartum or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). In fact, 1 in 7 women who become pregnant will experience a mental health disorder during the course of their pregnancy or in the postpartum period, making PMADs the most common complication of childbirth. Additionally, 50% of women diagnosed with PMADs postpartum had an onset of their symptoms during pregnancy.
Depression strikes about 12 million American women every year, almost double the rate of men. Unlike occasional, normal feelings of sadness, clinical depression can be debilitating and affect a woman’s relationships, work, health and family. Depression can range from mild to chronic, severe episodes that last for years. Getting the proper treatment, including complementary natural remedies, helps depressed women live normal lives.
Post-pregnancy depression is not uncommon after the birth of a baby. Approximately half of all new mothers experience some form of post pregnancy (also known as postpartum) depression. It can be quite brief and and temporary, known as the post-pregnancy “blues,” but it can also be moderate or quite severe.