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).

Allegheny County Mental Health Resources for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

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

Other County Crisis Hotlines

If you are not located in Allegheny County and in need to talk to someone or are in need of support, below are the crisis hotlines by county. Also, please contact your OB/GYN, your PCP, or your child’s PCP if you need further referrals or supports.

Armstrong County

  • Armstrong-Indiana Crisis Hotline: 724-465-2605

Beaver County

  • Beaver County Crisis Hotline: 800-400-6180

Bedford County

  • Bedford-Somerset MH/MR: 866-611-6467

Blair County

  • Altoona Regional Center for Behavioral Health Services: 814-889-2141

Butler County

  • Center for Community Resources: 800-292-3866

Cambria County

  • Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disability/Early Intervention: 877-268-9463

Cameron County

  • Cameron and Elk Behavioral/Developmental Program: 800-652-0562

Clarion County

  • Clarion County Crisis Intervention Services: 814-226-7223

Clearfield County

  • Clearfield/Jefferson Crisis: 800-341-5040

Crawford County

  • Crawford County Mobile Crisis Services: 814-724-2732

Elk County

  • Cameron and Elk Behavioral/Developmental Program: 800-652-0562

Erie County

  • Safe Harbor Behavioral Health: 800-300-9558

Fayette County

  • Fayette County Crisis Hotline: 724-437-1003

Forest County

  • Forest-Warren Human Services: 814-726-8413 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), 800-406-1255 (all other hours)

Greene County

  • Mental Health Program, Department of Human Services: 800-417-9460

Huntingdon

  • Tri-County Crisis-Mifflin, Juniata, Huntingdon: 800-929-9583

Indiana County

  • Armstrong-Indiana Crisis Hotline: 724-465-2605

Jefferson County

  • Clearfield/Jefferson Crisis: 800-341-5040

Lawrence County

  • Lawrence County Crisis Intervention: 724-652-9000

McKean County

  • The Guidance Center: 800-459-6568

Mercer County

  • Crisis Intervention Hotline: 724-662-2227

Potter County

  • Potter County Human Services: 800-652-0562

Somerset County

  • Bedford-Somerset MH/MR: 866-611-6467

Venango County

  • Mental Health Services: 814-432-9111

Warren County

  • Forest-Warren Human Services: 814-726-8413 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), 800-406-1255 (all other hours)

Washington County

  • Washington County Crisis Line: 877-255-3567

Westmoreland County

  • Westmoreland Community Action: 724-552-0305