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What Managers Should Know About Postpartum Depression

Returning to work after having a baby can be difficult


Going back to work after having a baby is tricky stuff. After all, the new parent is simply not the same person they were before.

This personal struggle, combined with a misguided workplace view of what a parent was actually doing on leave (no, they were not just lounging about and cuddling with their baby) add to a cultural disconnect. While the complexities of early days at home with a baby are often overwhelming, most workplaces simply treat any leave as time “off,” like it’s an extended vacation. In reality, a new parent is actively climbing a steep learning curve: mastering a whole new set of skills, tackling challenges that are not only foreign but also highly personal and making sense of a new emotional and physical normal. The birth parent has to cope with physical healing, which itself can be complicated and tiring, while also caring for and bonding with a newborn.

This transition is challenging for almost every new parent, but for some it can become postpartum depression (PPD). While PPD is the most commonly used term, a range of mood disorders can occur around (not just after) the birth of a child. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), how often PPD symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they feel can be different for each person. About 1 in 7 women experience PPD, and men often do as well; people are usually surprised to learn that anywhere from 4 percent–25 percent of men report feeling some level of PPD.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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