Winter Babies and Postpartum Depression
When do the 'baby blues' become postpartum depression?
When Depression Persists in Winter: Try a Little Light
If the season is really weighing you down, you might benefit from
physician-prescribed light therapy.
"Light box therapy has been studied for use in pregnancy-related
depression, and it's a reasonable option," says Dorothy Sit, MD, assistant
professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
"Women who may want to opt for non-drug options based on personal
preferences should ask their doctor about light therapy."
"Whenever we see exacerbation of an otherwise nonseasonal depression in
winter, light therapy can be extremely helpful," notes Michael Terman, PhD,
director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia
University Medical Center. He has created personalized online guidelines for
self-administration of light therapy, available online.
If you do have postpartum depression, it's important to know that you're not
alone and there's nothing "wrong" with you, says Stotland.
"People tend to think you're ungrateful when you have postpartum
depression, because you have this healthy baby," she says. "It's a
wonderful thing to have a healthy baby, but when you have depression, you don't
feel fortunate, especially when the world is telling you how happy you should
Seeking help, she says, can allow you to enjoy yourself and your baby the
way you always wanted to.