What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can develop after giving birth. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women experience postpartum depression, and that number continues to rise. This type of depression can be temporary and can interfere with your ability to care for and bond with your baby.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression can show in many ways and symptoms, including:

  • Excessive worrying or feeling overly anxious
  • Intense irritability, anger, or mood swings
  • Feelings and worthlessness, shame, guilt, or inadequacy
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Trouble with concentration and memory
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Lack of interest in self-care, like dressing and bathing
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Lack of energy to perform everyday tasks
  • Crying frequently, even about minor things
  • Showing too much (or not enough) concern for the baby
  • Trouble bonding with your baby
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in things that used to be enjoyable
  • Withdrawing from friends or family
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Reoccurring thoughts of death or suicide

If these or other symptoms of depression occur after giving birth, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

Is postpartum depression different than the baby blues?

The baby blues is the term used to describe the feelings of tiredness, worry and sadness many women experience in the days after giving birth. Unlike postpartum depression, the baby blues usually does not last more than two weeks and often goes away on its own. If you continue to feel down for more than two weeks, you should speak with your medical provider for help determining the cause and treating the issue.

How can I treat postpartum depression?

Receiving treatment as soon as symptoms of postpartum depression develop is important and can help you ease into motherhood. Fortunately, there are several resources and options available. The most common and effective ways to treat this issue include counseling, medication, support groups, or a mix of these options. Speaking with your medical provider can help you determine the best treatment for you and your new family.

At HealthLinc, our medical providers can work directly with our behavioral health consultants and clinical pharmacists to develop a well-rounded treatment plan that includes therapy and medication. If you think you are experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, please call to schedule an appointment at 1-888-580-1060.

Remember, it is not your fault you feel down or depressed after having your baby. Childbirth is an intense and emotional experience that can affect women differently.