Postpartum Depression and Work
anonymous Asks ...
My wife has postpartum depression. Our daughter is 1 month old. My wife had arranged for a 1 year maternity leave but she is now talking about going back after 4 months. She feels like she needs to get back to work for her mental health. I am worried that our daughter will be harmed irreversibly unless my wife can work through this and bond with her without running away. Can you comment?
Arlinda Lindsay Says ...
For some women, returning to work aggravates the postpartum depression because of the added stress of going to work and achieving work/life balance with the responsibilities of taking care of a baby. Anxiety may increase as well as sadness, and guilt. However, returning to work may aid in recovery because of returning to a structured environment with co-workers, adult interaction, and positive challenges to which she is accustomed.The outcome varies for each individual.
Women can still bond with their children while working. If she returns to work or not I would suggest that your wife receive therapy to help with cope with symptoms, cope with her feelings, solve problems, and help adjust with the many changes in her life. She should talk to her doctor or psychiatrist to discuss the possibility of taking antidepressants or hormone therapy.