Fatigue, high expectations contribute to depression in adoptive moms

    Fatigue, worry, and isolation can lead to post-partum depression — and a new study finds those same factors also contribute to depression in adoptive moms.

    Researchers at Purdue University examined 300 adoptive moms and found that about 20 percent of them experienced symptoms of depression after adopting a child. Post-partum depression affects up to 25 percent of women after child birth.

    Adoptive moms who experienced symptoms of depression reported fatigue, worry, and problems bonding with their child as contributing factors.

    “Self-esteem might have a bearing,” said Purdue’s Karen Foli who led the research.

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    “A history of depression, which is very often seen, perceived friend support, marital satisfaction, expectations of themselves as mothers” are other factors, Foli said.

    Depressed adoptive parents reported feeling alone, she said. “A lot of them are hesitant to ask for help, or feel that maybe they are not being supported in a way a birth parent would be supported — they don’t go through a physical labor and delivery, and yet they need a lot of support,” she said.

    Representatives from Adoptions from the Heart, a Delaware Valley adoption agency, say they discuss this issue with parents in preparing them for adoption, and supply resources after a child is placed.

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