Beyond the baby blues

January 14, 2008 5:28:34 PM PST
For many, having a baby can give you the blues. Discover ways to deal with postpartum depression.

Bay Area Postpartum Stressline

Fact: Postpartum depression affects about 15% of new mothers

Giving birth to a child should be the happiest time of a woman's life, but for many women it is not, and we dove into why that is. Here to talk about the warning signs of both the "baby blues" and post-partum depression is the author of the book post partum depression for dummies and the CD "Beyond the baby blues" please welcome psychologist Shoshana Bennett.

Dr. Shoshana Bennett is a survivor of two life-threatening, undiagnosed postpartum depressions. This condition affects 15% of mothers. She vowed she would never let another woman and family suffer.

What is postpartum depression? Postpartum depression is one of six postpartum mood disorders. The primary cause is thought to be the huge hormonal drop after the baby is delivered. This hormone shift then affects the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). There are also psychosocial factors such as moving, illness, poor partner support, financial hardship, and social isolation which will negatively affect the woman's emotional state. If the normal Baby Blues don't go away within two weeks, it is considered then to be postpartum depression.

Some of the symptoms of Postpartum Depression include: anxiety, lack of energy, trouble sleeping, frequent crying, feelings of guilty and overwhelm, irritability, anger, low self esteem, forgetfulness, hopelessness, moodswings, decreased sex drive, confusion, and eating problems.

There is help for this condition! That is where Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D. comes in. Dr. Shoshana is the author of Postpartum Depression For Dummies and co-author of Beyond the Blues. She's also created guided imagery audios that are specifically focused on helping moms take care of themselves. ABC's 20/20 featured Dr. Shoshana as the postpartum expert and news stations including CNN consult her. Several publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News have written articles on Dr. Shoshana's work. She's interviewed regularly on radio and television and has been quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as the Boston Globe, Glamour, Psychology Today, New York Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, USA Weekend and the Chicago Tribune.

Dr. Shoshana founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers. She was also President of the international organization, Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shoshana has helped over 15,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and teleclasses. She travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood disorders. She earned two masters degrees, a Ph.D. and is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist. She is working to pass legislation that prevents postpartum depression.