It has long been believed that women who experience postpartum depression after giving birth to a child, do so because of the hormonal changes that occur in their bodies during and after pregnancy. It makes intuitive sense that hormones could cause depression of pregnant women because we all know that hormones account for significant changes in their behavior and emotions. Everyone knows, for example, that during pregnancy a woman is likely to experience unprovoked emotional reactions and it is not hard to believe that one of these hormonal reactions could be depression after childbirth. It is clear that there are a significant number of women who become depressed after childbirth. However, these depressive episodes are usually stimulated by significant social, psychological, marital, and economic factors affecting women after they give birth to children, and when these factors are identified they can be addressed so that the depression is resolved.
I saw a young Christian woman who became pregnant out of wedlock. She discussed her pregnancy with a Set Free minister who helped her resolve her feelings of guilt about her immoral behavior. The young woman decided to give her child up for adoption to a relative because she was not financially or emotionally capable of raising her own child, and she felt peaceful about this prior to the birth of her first child. However, after giving birth to her child and seeing the child for an entire day she began to feel guilty and shameful, and she became depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I visited with her in her hospital room and she informed me that she became depressed after giving birth to the child because her father did not come to visit her, and because she felt she was worthless and irresponsible to have a child that she could not raise. When I asked her what specific thoughts she had she became very tearful and said about the child, "He'd be better off without me. I'm a screw up and my mother always said I was worthless."
This young woman was instructed to think about her mother's comments to her while she was growing up, then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about those comments. She said that the thoughts that came to her mind were, "I'm not worthless. I am worthwhile and I'm doing the right thing." She then said that she felt "Okay." I prayed again and asked the Lord if there was anything else that He wanted her to know about her belief that she was worthless. She said, "He needs me and needs to know why I gave him up. He's going to love me anyway." I asked her how she felt now about her child and she became tearful and said, "Happy; these are happy tears. I am being responsible. I feel fine." She previously rated her depression as a 10, but now rated her depression as a 5 on a 10-point scale.
I asked the young lady why she still felt some depression and she said it was because her father had not come to visit her. She said that he cares more about his new wife and her children and she believed that she was not important to him or loved by him. She stated that he was always like this and that on her birthdays her father was always watching TV or on his cell phone. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that her father did not love her and that she was unlovable. She stated that the following thoughts came to her: "I'm lovable; dad has a weird way of showing his love but he loves me. God loves me, too."
After having these thoughts come to her mind she said that she felt good about everything and she felt no more depression. Her depression was completely gone now. She read a letter that she had written to her child, explaining why she could not raise him and telling him how much she loved him. It was a beautiful letter and she was able to read it without any negative feelings. Even though she was losing her child she was at peace and was no longer felt any grief, sadness, shame, or depression because the Lord set her free. Pills would not have helped her significantly and could have led to much worse feelings and other side effects, but the Lord set her free without any pills or side effects.