Multiple independent studies have shown that depressed mothers (pre or post-natally) have babies who're at higher risk for learning and cognitive delays and disorders, as well as mood and behavioral problems.
If you think you might have pre or post-partum depression, it's critical that you begin to address it. Below is an informal questionnaire that'll tell you whether you're on track for full-blown depression or just feeling down.
- Sleep: Have you had insomnia OR been sleeping for more than 10 hours a day, for over a month straight?
- Appetite: Are you unable to eat and gaining less weight than recommended for pregnancy OR are you constantly eating and gaining too much weight?
- Mood: Do you feel constantly anxious, sad, gloomy or nothing at all - like, your life and your child(ren) don't really matter?
- Mental: Do you have difficulty thinking clearly, finishing tasks, focusing on conversations or enjoying entertainment such as music, tv or movies?
- Financial: Are you deeply in debt, unemployed and/or unable to hold down a job?
- Social: Do you purposefully avoid interacting with strangers, co-workers, acquaintances, friends and family?
- Relationship: If you're not single, do you feel your relationship is lacking in emotional support, communication and affection?
If you answered yes to four or more of these questions, you are at risk for - or already have depression. It's critical you take steps to get help and begin actively combatting your depressed state - for your children's sake as well as your own.