A Closer Look at Postpartum Depression

After becoming a mom, about one in eight women experience postpartum depression. These feelings can occur after the birth of a first child, or with any child thereafter. They can arise within the first few days of welcoming a baby, or even after a few months.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious or sad, you should not feel ashamed about it. Many, many women experience these feelings, and it’s important that you get the support and help you need.

Symptoms

The “Baby Blues” occur in the majority of moms. Symptoms include being overly teary or feeling slightly overwhelmed. However, if a new mom begins to feel more severe symptoms, they may be experiencing postpartum depression. Some common signs include:

  • Sleeping a lot
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • An unwillingness to do everyday tasks
  • Showing too much or too little concern for the newborn
  • Loss of interest in caring for self, including hygiene

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is feeling depressed, it is important to reach out to get help. You can talk to your own doctor, or speak with your pediatrician at one of your baby’s checkups. We are here for your child and for you.

Treatments

A doctor may prescribe an antidepressant or talk therapy, depending on the severity of your condition. Talk with your doctor about what may be best for you and stick to the treatment plan prescribed. Some lifestyle changes can also aid in your recovery:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices: Try to exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. Avoid drinking alcohol and eat healthy.
  • Do something you enjoy: Reach out to a loved one to watch your child, and take some time to do something you enjoy. Go to lunch with a friend or have a date night with your partner.
  • Avoid isolation: Talk to your partner, a friend or a family member. You can also join support groups and speak with other moms experiencing similar feelings.
  • Be realistic: Don’t try to do everything yourself and don’t be ashamed to reach out for help. Do what you can in a given day and feel at peace with that.

Most importantly, know that you are still a good mom, even if you are feeling depressed. You are not alone in your recovery and people want to help you feel better.

If at any point you feel you may harm your child or yourself, immediately call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK' class='telephone'>1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255' class='telephone'>1-800-273-8255).