Iron-deficiency anemia (when iron levels in the blood are below an established minimum) affects about 5-10% of women of childbearing age, and is likely higher in pregnant women. Anemia is also common in the postpartum period, and can occur even in women who had normal iron during pregnancy.
Some of the symptoms of anemia can mimic symptoms of depression, for example, fatigue and impaired concentration. It is essential that your healthcare provider rules out anemia when assessing a perinatal mood disorder. If you have not had a blood test for anemia yet, or are not sure if one has been done, ask. Not all healthcare providers routinely check iron status postpartum.
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