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What are the Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression?

written by: Erin281982 • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 12/4/2010

Some women are more prone to developing postpartum depression than others. This is a look at some of the different risk factors for postpartum depression.

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    What are the Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression?

    According to some studies it estimated that 10 to 20% of women who have recently delivered a baby are at risk of developing postpartum depression. However there are some women who seem to have more risk factors for postpartum depression than other women. Being a serious condition that should be dealt with as soon as possible, here is a look at some of those risk factors.

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    Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression: Unplanned Pregnancy

    In most cases pregnancy is a happy time for couples who are eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby. However for some couples or single moms, an unplanned pregnancy can bring about a whole other range of emotions. One of the biggest issues that makes an unplanned pregnancy a risk factor is that it may overwhelm a new mom. With all the different hormones and emotions that new moms have, face and experience, this feeling of being overwhelmed will seem to be multiplied.

    Moms to be with unplanned pregnancies are also more at risk of postpartum depression due to the fact that they may not be ready for a new baby. They may have been at a point in their life where they felt happy with their families or ready to move on to a new phase, but having a new baby may upset their plans thus putting them at risk for postpartum depression.

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    Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression: Extreme Stress

    Extreme stress is a risk factor for postpartum depression. Extreme stress may stem from a number of different things. It may be due to the loss of a job, a difficult home environment, death of a loved one, a bad financial state, other health problems, or just a general overall worried feeling about the present and the future. A lack of support is another big factor that will cause extreme stress. If a new mom feels as though she is all alone or is doing everything by herself it can be extremely stressful. This extreme stress if carried over after delivery may push a woman into experiencing postpartum depression.

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    Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression: Previous Problems with Depression or Other Mental Disorders

    One of the more commonly seen risk factors for postpartum depression is a history of depression or other types of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. Depression can occur in anyone at any time in life and for no reason at all. New moms who have suffered with depression may see themselves develop postpartum depression even if they feel fine during pregnancy and immediately after the birth.

    New moms who have other mental disorders such as bipolar disorder may also find themselves at risk for postpartum depression. Pregnant women or women who have just delivered may want to address these issues with their doctor or midwife to ensure that they are able to get help if they do find themselves dealing with postpartum depression later on.