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I just came across an article discussing an intervention aimed at reducing post partum depression in mothers. Basically, mothers who had been through post partum depression received training, then regularly called new mothers. While 25% of ‘high risk’ mothers receiving usual care reported reported significant depressive symptoms, only 14% of ‘high risk’ mothers who received peer support reported significant symptoms.

Peer support is a big part of what the depression support network offers, so it’s good to see it’s effectiveness demonstrated in studies. The research also reminds us of the importance of keeping up contact with others when we’re going through tough times.

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Postpartum Depression is a form of depression that affects parents after the birth of their children. It is speculated that the stress of childbirth, lifestyle changes associated with having children, and for women, hormonal changes can precipitate a depressive episode in parents. Although men don’t undergo childbirth, it can still be a stressful time. I recently came across two stories on CNN, and The Daily Mail, telling stories about Male Postpartum depression.

It’s interesting to note that male postpartum depression can often occurwhen the partner also has postpartum depression. If your partner is depressed, not only does this mean having to spend more time caring for your new born, but also supporting your partner. The lesson here is that if you’re supporting someone through a difficult time, be aware that you’re vulnerable yourself, so make sure you’re getting the support you need, otherwise you might find yourself getting depressed.

Another lesson to take away from this is to be prepared. If you’ve got a history of depression, be aware of things which can put you under stress, such as child birth, and be aware of the signs you see when you get depressed. If you start to see signs that you aren’t coping, do something about it.

If you’re looking at doing something about depression (whether or not you’re a parent) have a look at some of the links on the side bar, or contact us. If you’re interested in reading more about Postpartum Depression, there’s a lengthy wikipedia article on it.

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