Postpartum Depression

Overview

Having a baby is one of the most significant events in the lives of many women. It can also be a challenging time. If you’ve recently given birth, it’s not unusual to experience a surge of emotions, such as anxiety, joy and fear. Typically, mild feelings of depression, sometimes called “baby blues,” only last for the first few weeks after giving birth. But postpartum depression is a more serious, long-lasting form of depression that new moms may experience. New dads also may experience depression after the birth of a child, often months after the birth.

If you’re experiencing postpartum depression, it’s important to remember that this is a common and temporary disorder. Postpartum depression does not make you a bad mother or mean that you are weak. With prompt, appropriate treatment, the symptoms of postpartum depression can be managed.

Signs & Symptoms

Postpartum depression signs usually occur within six months after childbirth, and may last from a few weeks to a year after giving birth. The symptoms range from mild depression to severe psychosis.

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in life
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Episodes of crying or tearfulness
  • Poor concentration, memory loss or difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Feelings of irritability, anxiety or panic
  • Restlessness
  • Fear of hurting or killing yourself or your child
  • Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
  • Obsessive thoughts – especially unreasonable, repetitive fears about your child's health and welfare
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain

More serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Lack of interest in your infant
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Loss of contact with reality

Risk Factors

You don’t have to be a first-time mother to develop postpartum depression. It can happen after the birth of any child.

Several factors increase your risk of postpartum depression, including:

  • A history of depression – including postpartum depression – or bipolar disorder
  • Stress, such as marital or financial problems
  • An unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  • Family members with a history of depression
  • A limited support system of family and friends

Services & Treatments

If you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, feeling hopeless and alone, know that our experts are here to help. Schedule a consultation today and get the help you deserve.

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