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4 Social Elements That Influence Postpartum Depression

Physical and psychological factors influence your likelihood of experiencing postpartum depression, but there are also several social factors that can affect your chances:

Age & Socioeconomic Status

Are you younger than 20 or older than 34? If so, you are more likely to experience postpartum depression. This is because moms in these groups experience other risk factors. Young moms may face financial pressure, low self-esteem, a poor home environment, and be a single parent, while older moms may have already miscarried, have gone through fertility treatments, or are finding motherhood much more difficult than anticipated.

Whatever age you are, poverty is a frightening situation for any mom. These moms find it difficult, if not impossible, to provide for their child or to access healthcare. It might also be challenging to find a safe environment in which to raise their child. Are you battling poverty?

Life Events

Pregnancy and delivery are stressful enough, but if you experience other stressful events during this time, you are at a higher risk for postpartum depression. Stressful events include the death of a loved one, problems in relationships (spouse, partner, friends, or family), financial or economic hardship, and general life difficulties. Have you experienced a large amount of stress in a relatively short amount of time? Are you dealing with that stress in a healthy way?

Employment & Maternity Leave

There are several things to consider when it comes to the working mom. Moms are more likely to experience depression if they want to stay at home with their child but need to return to work. Plus, there are factors like low self-esteem and concern about appearance, worries about whether the baby is okay with their caretaker, and fatigue from working all day and then returning home to take care of the baby. Women who have the ability to choose if and when they return to work are less likely to experience postpartum depression. Are you where you want to be (at home or at work)?

Social Support

Perhaps the biggest factor of all is a new mom’s support system. It affects the way a woman sees herself, is able to deal with stress, and the way she views her world. If a new mom does not have a reliable support system, depression will most likely be a huge struggle for her.

As a new mom, you need several types of support. You need friends and family members who can come alongside of you personally, especially the support of your parents and her partner. You need professional support and resources that can help you learn how to care for your baby. And you need to be connected with other moms who can share stories and also help you in times of stress.

Individuals who are depressed tend to isolate themselves from others. By pursuing these relationships and having others support you during this time, you will be better able to manage your depression. Do you have a strong support system?

Take a moment and review the physical, psychological, and social factors that contribute to postpartum depression. How many of them are you experiencing? If your risk is high, talk to your doctor about it and find ways you can manage your postpartum depression.


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