Postpartum depression in our community

Krystin Sorich

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Postpartum depression in our community

CREATED Oct. 4, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) -  It is an issue that many women suffer from in our own community and has recently become a frequent topic of conversation. According to the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition, about 4,000 women in Pima County suffer with anxiety and depression around childbirth.

"I think when women are preoccupied with their children, sometimes they don't pay as enough attention to their own health...and we know that the health of the mother has a direct impact on the well-being of the infant," says Dr. Karen Weihs, Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Arizona.  

Postpartum depression can happen to any woman after giving birth. Doctors say this can happen when there are rapid hormone shifts in the body.

"They don't understand that a lot of women do have these thoughts, so they feel very alone and isolated," said Kristen Russel, Therapist at Serafina Women's Services by CODAC. 
Thoughts like, "Will I be a good mother? What am I doing wrong?" Doctors say signs include nervousness, guilt, anger, extreme anxiety, many worries or fears and feeling a lack of support. Signs that Dr. Weihs says should not be ignored.
"I guess the message to new mother's would be to put on your own life mask before you put it on your child, and that means take care of your own anxiety, depression and ask for support...ask for help," said Weihs. 
But with the proper support, doctors say women can begin to feel like themselves again.