Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition
Maternal Depression Resources
Compiled by the Cape & Islands
Maternal Depression Task Force
These resources were developed by the Cape & Islands Maternal Depression Task Force and are posted here for public use upon the request of Task Force members (the Task Force does not currently have its own website). For more information about these resources or the Cape and Islands Maternal Depression Task Force, please contact Coordinator Mary Wilson at 508-775-6240 Ext. 512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Maternal Depression
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, depression is one of the most common complications of the postpartum period and the leading cause of disease related disability among women. Post Partum Depression (PPD) typically emerges over the first two to three postpartum months but may occur at any point after delivery, most commonly during the first postpartum year. Some women note the onset of milder depressive symptoms during their pregnancy, hence the broader term "Maternal Depression".
The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reports, “During the postpartum period, about 85% of women experience some type of mood disturbance. For most the symptoms are mild and short-lived; however, 10% to 15% of women develop more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety”, which include a frequently depressed, sad and/ angry mood, loss of interest in usual activities, feelings of guilt, worthlessness or incompetence, and signficant disturbances in sleep, appetite, and concentration.
In addition to the symptoms facing these women, studies show that Maternal Depression can have serious and lasting consequences on child development. The Zero to Three Policy Center in Washington, D.C. reported that mothers struggling with depression are more likely to have children who display more negative and less positive emotions, withdraw from social interaction, avoid contact with caregivers, and use negative strategies to get attention than their counterparts with non-depressed mothers.