Being at risk for postpartum depression

Clinical Psychologist and Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains a few common factors that can put some women at a higher risk for postpartum depression
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Being at risk for postpartum depression

A history of depression does put a woman at higher risk than if she hasn't had a history. Although no one is immune, even women without any history can get hit hard with a postpartum depression. But certainly if she's had a personal history of depression, even a family history of depression, she should work proactively before she even gets pregnant and get a wonderful plan of action together with a healthcare practitioner who understands. If she's pregnant and she's feeling depressed, this can also put her at high risk. So if she's had depression during pregnancy either previously or currently, she should definitely get help. If she's depressed in the second trimester, she is three times the risk of getting postpartum depression. And if she is depressed during her third trimester, she is six times the risk of getting postpartum depression. So the rule is don't suffer, get the help you need but certainly be proactive if you know your history, get that plan of action in place so you won't have anything to worry about as you move towards having that baby. And ideally, your O.B. or your midwife or whoever you're working with should be screening you every trimester to make sure you're doing well emotionally.

Clinical Psychologist and Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains a few common factors that can put some women at a higher risk for postpartum depression


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Shoshana Bennett, PhD

Clinical Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist

Shoshana Bennett, PhD (“Dr. Shosh”) from the popular Radio Show is the author of Pregnant on Prozac, Postpartum Depression For Dummies, and co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.  She is also the creator of the new mobile app PPD Gone.  National TV shows including  20/20, Discovery Channel, The Doctors and The Ricki Lake Show feature Dr. Shosh as the pregnancy and postpartum mood expert and news stations such as CNN consult her. Several publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News have written articles on Dr. Shosh’s work.  She’s interviewed regularly on national radio and has been quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, Boston Globe, Fit Pregnancy, Glamour, Parenting, Psychology Today, New York Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, and the Chicago Tribune. 

Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field.  She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. She has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars.  As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a PhD and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.

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