Postpartum depression has initially been linked to genes and hormones. However, a new study featured on TIME has found that external factors, such as the mother’s neighborhood and environment, may also trigger emotional turmoil.

Researchers analyzed data on approximately 6,400 women who took part in the 2006 Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey and who came from rural, semi-rural, urban, and semi-urban areas.

The survey revealed that 7.5 percent of women who had given birth shortly before the survey developed postpartum depression. Those who lived in urban areas had the highest depression risk at 10 percent compared with the six percent rate of those in rural areas, the five percent in semi-urban areas, and the seven percent in semi-rural areas.

Aside from the stress that comes with city living, new mothers, especially those who have migrated from faraway places, may feel alone and overwhelmed in a large community, which may result in feelings of helplessness. And although the Internet has made it easier for people to get in touch, experts say that this is not enough. New mothers need all the encouragement they can get and family members can make everything better by simply being there.

If you're feeling a bit blue after giving birth? Consider taking an out-of-town trip with loved ones. The fresh air and the company of the people you trust may help make you feel better. After all, postpartum depression may be a clinical condition, but the way to get over it isn't just through medical treatment but through love and support.

(Photo by Venturist via Flickr Creative Commons)

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