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That's Depressing: Mothering in Poverty

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Overcoming postpartum depression with a supportive system, enough money to put food on the table, and health insurance is difficult enough. But what if you were poor too? 

In what is being called the first detailed study of its kind, researchers are reporting that more than half of babies born into poverty are being raised by mothers who show symptoms of mild to severe depression.  

This snowballs into a slew of problems, like less attention to parenting (which can set back child development), PPD moms who are unable to afford proper care, and a continuation of the vicious poverty cycle. 

"A mom who is too sad to get up in the morning won't be able to take care of all of her child's practical needs. If she is not able to take joy in her child, talk baby talk, play with the child -- those are features of parenting that brain development research has told us contribute to babies' and toddlers' successful development," said one of the co-authors of the study.   

The study also highlights the issue of breastfeeding, which as it turns out, is a luxury not all moms can afford. 87% of babies with severely depressed mothers living in poverty were breastfed for four months or less -- that's eight months shorter than recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics. Moms with low-income jobs may not have paid maternity leave that allows them to stay home to nurse their babies, or even affords them the time to learn how. And let's not forget – lactation consultants and breast pumps are pricey. 

Has anyone experienced parenting on WIC, health care services, food stamps, or TANF? Or are there moms out there with PPD who were able to afford support? 

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