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Postpartum depression

After giving birth, about 70-80% of women experience an episode of baby blues, feelings of depression, anger, anxiety and guilt lasting for several days. In about 10% of new mothers, this develops into the more severe postpartum depression (also postnatal depression), a form of major depression requiring treatment.

While the precise causes for postpartum depressions are unknown, several factors have been suggested:

In severe cases, postpartum psychosis can develop, characterized by hallucinations and delusions. This happens in about 0.1 - 0.2% of all women after having given birth.

Postpartum depression can happen after the birth of any child, not just the first one.

Sometimes a preexisting mental illness can be brought to the forefront through a postpartum depression.

After the National Organization for Women insisted that Andrea Yates had postpartum depression, the Individualist Feminists of pointed out that postpartum depression is quite common and most sufferers do not murder their children. In fact, Yates suffered from postpartum psychosis. After an pointed out that this stigmatized a large number of mothers and made them less like to seek professional help, NOW removed their claims from their official website. Some believe that Yates's fundamentalist church bears some responsibility for the murder, as church allegedly urged her to ignore her psychiatrist's orders. Yates methodically drowned her children in a bathtub in her Clear Lake City, Houston, Texas house on June 20, 2001.

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