From Black Voices — According to a new study, domestic violence has been linked to postpartum depression. Why is this important? Because African-American women suffer abuse from their “intimate partners” more than any other group, and this violence may explain the recent case ofLashanda Armstrong, who killed both herself and her children (ages 11 months, 2 and 5) while reportedly being depressed.
Postpartum depression usually occurs during the first year of the baby’s life. Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and “Today Show” contributor adds:
“Postpartum depression can occur up to a year postpartum, so whenever you hear a story of erratic behavior, withdrawal, violence toward one’s own children, it fits with [it]. Guilt is also a big feature of postpartum depression.”
For women who are being abused, which includes “sexual abuse, physical abuse, or stalking to pregnancy coercion — when a woman is forced to conceive a child against her will,” the abuse often increases once they become pregnant:
“Intimate partner violence often increases during pregnancy when women are most vulnerable, according to Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of the perinatal psychiatry program at University of North Carolina.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 80 percent of women experience post-partum depression, but when you add domestic violence to that equation, the situation for a Mother and her child can go really wrong: