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Postpartum Depression: Preventable?

Postpartum depression, in which mothers get depressed after giving birth, may be preventable, and resources abound for women who are candidates for — or have become — affected by the condition.

Those are some of the messages of a major public awareness campaign being launched this weekend by Postpartum Support International and CBS Cares.

PSI President Susan Dowd Stone discussed the campaign, and the condition, on The Early Show Friday.

The campaign kicks off during an episode of CBS' "Cold Case" Sunday about a woman who admits to feeling stressed with the demands of a new baby and being a working mother.

When the show airs, a public service announcement about postpartum depression will be shown, featuring "Cold Case" star Kathryn Morris. To watch it, click here.

Another PSA, with fellow "Cold Case" star Danny Pino will be made available. It is in Spanish. To see this one, click here.

"We would like women to reach out and get help," Stone told co-anchor Rene Syler. "First of all, as the PSAs say, 'You are not to blame, and you are not alone.' There are so many sufferers who have postpartum depression. It's statistically far more significant than many other complications of pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes. So, it's really important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms, and to call their health care providers if any of these symptoms persist."

Signs and symptoms include mood swings, feeling disconnected from the baby, sadness, chronic weeping, heightened anxiety, insomnia, lack of concentration, suicidal thoughts, and thoughts of harming the baby.

When should women reach out for help?

"There's a condition called 'the baby blues' that's pretty common that occurs two to four weeks after delivery, when a woman may fear especially tearful or moody or hyper-emotional," Stone said. "If that persists, if that doesn't resolve and these feelings continue, you must get an evaluation to be sure."

Stone added: "The statistics are sliding up. I don' t think this is because more women are developing postpartum depression; rather, (it's) that we're starting to do a better job of detecting and treating it earlier in the game."

And, Stone stresses, there is hope.

"We can prevent this (postpartum depression) with appropriate medication and we can wipe this out," she told CBS News. "We can do it by watching these women and identifying them during pregnancy."

In addition, Stone told Syler: "It's very important to [de-stigmatize] it because it's a motherhood myth that pregnancy and childbirth is such a happy time always for women, when statistics tell us that actually one out of five, up to one out of seven, women will experience a significant mood disruption."

For much more on postpartum depression and the help available to those who need it, log on to the PSI Web site by clicking here.

PSI offers support, referrals, education, training and resources to health care providers for women and families coping with postpartum depression.

"What is unique about our organization," Stone told CBS News, "is that we support all of the other organizations that work on this issue," she said. For example, if there is a hotline in Washington, you will find it on our Web site. We don't compete with these other organizations. So, we will get you to the right help if you call us."

CBS Cares is a collaboration among various parts of the network, including news, sports, program practices, promotions and digital media.

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