Mothers with postpartum depression are more likely to express negative attitudes about their infant and to view their infant as more demanding or difficult. Depressed mothers exhibit difficulties engaging the infant, either being more withdrawn or inappropriately intrusive, and more commonly exhibit negative facial interactions. In addition, mothers with symptoms of depression are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding earlier in the postpartum period. [ 67 , 68 ] These early disruptions in mother-infant bonding may have a profound impact on child development. [ 69 ]
Counseling and support can help women work through some of the mental aspects of postpartum depression. If the depression is severe, a mother may need a family member to stay with her at all times to offer support, reassurance, and validation of her abilities as a mother. Some of the common issues mothers face with postpartum depression include overwhelming fears about their new responsibilities and guilt about becoming depressed at what is supposed to be a happy time. Interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral therapies may help these mothers work through these feelings and put the problems into the proper perspective.