Woman Shares Her Battle With Postpartum Depression

Police say woman involved in Capitol shooting may have suffered from postpartum depression

The woman who led authorities on a chase from the White House to the Capitol before she was killed by police may have suffered from postpartum depression according to relatives.

Postpartum depression can affect women for up to a year after they give birth, according to New Jersey OB/GYN, Dr. Jeffrey Levine.

The following information on postpartum depression comes from Virtua Health's TLD for Moms program.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a temporary and treatable condition experienced by about 10 to 20 percent of all women after having a baby. Symptoms of PPD include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, irritability, anxiety, anger or nervousness, lack of interest in the baby, family or friends, feeling like a bad mother, feeling worthless, hopeless, guilty, uncontrollable crying, trouble concentrating and making decisions, and thoughts of harming the baby or yourself.

Postpartum depression is more serious than the “baby blues” which occur during the first couple of weeks after giving birth when the mom may cry easily and feel stressed. Baby blues pass without treatment, while PPD requires treatment in the form of medication, counseling or both.

Are you at risk for postpartum depression?

No one is really sure why postpartum depression (PPD affects some women and not others. What we do know is that approximately one in fifteen women will develop this disorder and there are some things that make it more likely that a woman will experience PPD.

Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression
• History of depression, mental health problems or PPD
• Stressful life events outside of pregnancy
• Lack of social support
• Teen pregnancy
• Pregnancy or birth complications


• Screening for PPD after delivery while mother is still in hospital with the Edinburg Postpartum Depression Screening Questionaire

• Follow-up by a professional staff member for mothers found to be at risk for PPD

• Collaboration with OB/GYN physicians for further screening at the first OB/GYN appointment following birth

• Information phone line for mothers who are feeling depressed

• Referrals to mental health professionals

• PPD Support Group held weekly and monthly at Virtua

• Happiest Baby on the Block classes

• Infant Massage Training

• Lactation consultants for breastfeeding questions and concerns


A speedy recovery will require help from professionals, and Virtua can help you locate the right people

Virtua Call Center 1-888-Virtua3
• The specially trained assistants at the Call Center will help you locate the right specialists and even help you make an appointment

TLC for Moms Information Line 1-866-380-2229
• Nurses trained to answer your questions about PPD and help you with resources are available by phone Monday through Friday from 9 am – 5 pm.

PPD Adjustment Support Group
• Meets weekly at Virtua Voorhees and monthly at Virtua Memorial

Lactation Consultants

• Available to provide breastfeeding support through the lactation help line at 856-247-2793 (Virtua Voorhees) and 609-265-7258 (Virtua Memorial)
• Also available at weekly support groups at Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Memorial

Learning to Bond with your Newborn

Many women suffering with postpartum depression struggle to bond with their baby. Virtua offers instruction in two different techniques that are designed to help moms overcome this lack of connection.

Infant Massage--Learn massage techniques that will enhance bonding and attachment between mother and baby.

Happiest Baby on the Block™-- This program teaches parents how to calm fussy babies by turning on the calming reflex. Dr Harvey Karp, a world-renowned pediatrician has developed this program using the 5 S’s of swaddling, side position, shushing, swinging, and sucking.

Lending Library

A variety of books for mothers and fathers related to postpartum depression are available for loan.

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