Postpartum depression a problem for many Oklahoma mothers

Monday, July 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- At least one in ten Oklahoma mothers suffers from postpartum depression.

Also known as perinatal mood disorder, the condition can start with tears, sadness, irritability, nervousness, feelings of vulnerability and a loss of appetite.

If the condition goes undiagnosed and unchecked, postpartum depression can escalate into panic attacks and hyperventilation, despondency, despair and unrealistic concerns for the baby, or no concern at all.

According to conservative estimates, more than 5-thousand Oklahoma mothers each year have serious postpartum depression after childbirth.

Some experts in Oklahoma put the figure closer to 10-thosand mothers, saying the problem is worsening because of economic stresses and more people without insurance.

About 50-thousand babies are born annually in Oklahoma.