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

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.

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.

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 (1-800-273-8255).

Mental Health Resources for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Allegheny County

Comprehensive Resources

Specific Services

  • Allegheny Health Network Women’s Behavioral Health, West Penn Hospital: 412-578-4030
  • Baby Steps Support Group, St. Clair Hospital: 412-942-4850
  • Magee Women’s Hospital Behavioral Health: 412-624-2000, option 2 (calls are answered 24 hours a day) OR email at PsychCarePlus@upmc.edu (e-mails are answered within an hour of receiving, 24 hours a day)
  • The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health: 412-321-6880
  • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, N.E.S.T. (New and Expectant Mother Skills Training) IOP: 412-246-5600

Crisis Services

  • Resolve Crisis Services, 24-hour hotline. 1-888-7-YOU-CAN (1-888-796-8226)
  • Jeremiah’s Place, respite care for children with no safe housing: 412-924-0726
  • The Women’s Center and Shelter: 412-687-8005
  • HelpLine at United Way, information and referral services providing problem solving and referrals to over 8500 health and human services: 2-1-1 OR 412-255-1155

Armstrong County

  • Values Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania – Armstrong: 1-877-688-5969
  • Armstrong-Indiana Behavioral and Developmental Health Program: 724-548-3451

Beaver County

  • Values Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania – Beaver: 1-877-688-5970
  • Heritage Valley Family Medicine – Beaver Falls, 1125 7th Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA 15010: 724-773-8900

Butler County

  • Values Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania – Butler: 1-877-688-5971
  • Family Behavioral Resources: 724-850-8118
  • Grapevine Center Inc., 140 N. Elm Street, Suite B, Butler, PA 16001-4820: 724-283-4736 OR toll-free 1-888-223-7620

Cambria County

  • Westmont Family Counseling Ministries, 789 Goucher Street, Johnstown, PA 15905: 814-536-0798
  • Cambria County Behavioral Health / Disabilities Program, 110 Franklin Street, Johnstown, PA 15905: 814-534-2800

Cameron County

  • Dickinson Mental Health Center – Emporium, 107 South Cherry Street, Emporium, PA 15834: 814-486-0554

Clarion County

  • Alternative Approach Psychotherapy Services, Jeanne Drayer MSW, LCSW: 814-745-2188
  • New Perspective Counseling Services: 814-227-2747

Crawford County

  • Stairways Behavioral Health, Outpatient Mental Health Services (OPMH) – UPMC Horizons, 16332 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville, PA 16335: 814-337-8762

Elk County

  • Dickinson Mental Health Center – Ridgeway, 43 Servidea Drive, Ridgway, PA 15853: 814-776-2145

Erie County

  • Erie VA Medical Center: 814-868-8661
  • Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, 329 West Tenth Street, Erie, PA 16502: 814-456-2091
  • Trinity Center, 462 West 18th Street, Erie, PA 16502: 814-453-2468

Fayette County

  • Axiom Family Counseling Services, 630 Cherry Tree Lane, Uniontown, PA 15401: 724-439‐0308
  • Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services, Inc., 100 New Salem Road, Suite 116, Uniontown, PA 15401: 724-437‐0729

Forest County

  • Family Services of Warren County, 589 Hospital Drive, Warren, PA 16345: 814-723-1330
  • Forest Warren Human Services, Mental Health Services – Outpatient Mental Health Program, 285 Hospital Drive, North Warren, PA 16365: 814-726-2100

Greene County

  • Values Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania – Greene: 1-877-688-5973

Indiana County

  • Community Guidance Center, 793 Old Route 119 Highway North, Indiana, PA 15701: 724-465-5576
  • Family Psychological Associates, 1265 Wayne Avenue, 119 Professional Building, Indiana, PA 15701: 724-543-1888

Jefferson/Clearfield County

  • Postpartum Depression Support Group – DuBois, Behavioral Health Center, DuBois Regional Medical Center – EAST, 3rd floor Library: 814-375-6241
  • Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, 90 Beaver Drive, DuBois, PA 15801: 814-371-4717
  • The Counseling Center, 81 Hill Crest Drive, Punxsutawney, PA 15767: 814-938-1641

Lawrence County

  • Gettings Annex, 439 Countyline Street, New Castle, PA 16101: 724-658-2538
  • 24 Hour Mental Health Crisis Service: 724-652-9000

McKean County

  • Beacon Light Behavioral Health Services, 800 East Main Street, Bradford, PA 16701: 1-800-345-1780
  • The Guidance Center, 110 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA 16701: 814-362-6535

Mercer County

  • Values Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania – Mercer: 1-866-404-4561
  • COMPREHENSIVE Children and Family Services: 724-981-9900
  • Paoletta Counseling Services, Inc.: 724-662-7202

Potter County

Please refer to McKean or Cameron Counties.

Somerset/Bedford County

Please refer to Westmoreland or Cambria Counties.

Venango County

  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Mental Health Services, 174 East Bissell Avenue, Oil City, PA 16301-1957: 412-647-1957
  • Southwest Behavioral Care (SPHS), 203 S. Maple Avenue, Greensburg, PA 15601: 1-800-220-1810

Warren County

  • Family Services of Warren County, 589 Hospital Drive, Warren, PA 16345: 814-723-1330
  • Forest Warren Human Services, Mental Health Services – Outpatient Mental Health Program, 285 Hospital Drive, North Warren, PA 16365: 814-726-2100

Washington County

  • Cristina Panaccione and Associates, LLC, 228 E McMurray Road, Suite B, McMurray, PA 15317: 412-961-9683
  • Washington County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, 100 W. Beau Street, Suite 302, Washington, PA 15301: 724-228-6832

Westmoreland County

  • Unity Family Services, 1001 South Leechburg Hill Street, Leechburg, PA 15656: 724-845-2978