Sage, Ink: The Stresses of New Motherhood

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation that women be screened for depression both during pregnancy and after giving birth, as approximately one in seven new mothers are thought to experience depressive symptoms.

If anything is going to make a person depressed, the discombobulation of new motherhood would certainly do it (as this cartoonist can attest.) The multi-paneled cartoon below—attempting a somewhat lighter spin on the experience—first appeared in 2014 and became one of most widely shared from Sage, Ink. (A year later, the publication of a study revealing the extreme toll that new parenthood takes on happiness prompted a followup cartoon.)