Many new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, so if you are one of them, there is absolutely no need to be ashamed. However, a new study is shedding more light on the reason why mothers can feel this way after giving birth.

Pain and Postpartum Depression

According to CTV News, research has discovered that the pain that is experienced after giving birth—not the pain that is experienced during labor and delivery—might be linked to a mother’s risk of being diagnosed with postpartum depression.

How did the researchers come to this conclusion? Well, the study examined more than 4,000 moms who were going to deliver their babies by C-section or vaginally in a hospital. Then, the experts were able to track the women’s pain scores during various points throughout delivery, from the beginnings of labor to the time that they were discharged from the hospital. Also, a week after delivering their baby, the women’s pain scores were compared to their scores on the EPDS (Edinburgh postnatal depression scale).

What the Results Revealed

Experts concluded that postpartum depression is associated with greater pain scores postpartum. Mothers who were experiencing postpartum depression also experienced a greater number of complaints related to pain during their recovery. They required more medicine for their pain, and they couldn’t control their pain as easily. Plus, another interesting finding was that women who delivered by C-section were more likely to experience postpartum depression.

So, while prior research has shown that pain during delivery can increase the odds of postpartum depression, this new research shows that pain that is totally separate from labor and delivery can be a risk factor as well.

Other factors that can contribute to a greater risk of experiencing postpartum depression have also been established. They include being obese or overweight, as well as having a history of depression, chronic pain, or anxiety. Other factors include having a torn perineum, and delivering a smaller baby with a lower Apgar score (a system that scores a baby’s health in the minutes after birth).

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Symptoms

If you’re a new mom, and you are experiencing symptoms like reduced energy, crying, anxiety, sadness, changes in eating or sleeping, and irritability, talk to your doctor, as you might be dealing with postpartum depression.