Everyone occasionally feels a little down. More serious is depression, a clinically diagnosable condition that may be tied to a particular circumstance, or may be an ongoing chronic disorder.

Examples of “bad” circumstances that could lead to depression, are losing a job or the death of a loved one. A “good” circumstance that’s a common trigger of depression is pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal depression is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. Twenty percent of women experience some form of depression during or after pregnancy, yet most are ashamed to discuss this with their healthcare providers and family.

Perinatal (during pregnancy) and postpartum (after childbirth) depression affects the well-being of both mother and baby. A woman with perinatal depression may have extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some women have panic attacks with shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling. www.postpartum.net

Untreated depression affects the whole family, including the baby. Behavioral health (mental health) is covered by some health insurances. Medicaid pays for diagnosis, therapy and medication to treat depression. For help finding insurance coverage for maternal depression, call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750.