Postpartum depression: What you should know

Woman Dealing with Postpartum Depression

Whether you or someone you love recently gave birth, here’s what you should know about postpartum depression.

You are not alone. 1-in-9 new mothers have postpartum depression. Symptoms include:

➧Feeling empty, sad, or overwhelmed

➧Feeling irritable or moody

➧Crying for no apparent reason

➧Having difficulty with memory and concentration

➧Having difficulty making decisions

➧Not enjoying activities you once enjoyed

➧Withdrawing from family and friends

➧Feeling like you are unable to care for your baby

You might be at higher risk of postpartum depression if you:

➧Have a personal history of depression or bipolar disorder

➧Have a family history of depression or bipolar disorder

➧Do not have support from family and friends

➧Were depressed during pregnancy

➧Had problems with a previous pregnancy or birth

➧Have a relationship or money problems

➧Are younger than 20

➧Have alcoholism, use illegal drugs, or have some other problem with drugs

➧Have a baby with special needs

➧Have difficulty breastfeeding

➧Had an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy

Postpartum depression is treatable. 

Counseling and medication are effective in treating mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Treatment can improve your symptoms or make them go away entirely.

Your doctor can help. 

Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling because your treatment can begin only when your depression is identified. When asked how you are doing during visits with your doctor or your baby’s doctor, be honest. There is no reason to feel embarrassed about your feelings. Mood disorders like depression and anxiety are medical conditions that require treatment. Follow up on any treatment or referral your doctor gives you.

You can ask for help. 

Taking care of a newborn is a difficult job. It is difficult to find time to take even basic care of yourself, like sleeping, eating, and bathing when your baby needs constant attention. Ask your friends and family to help with caring for your baby so you can take care of yourself.

If you are dealing with postpartum depression, you’re not alone. Help is available, and you can feel better.


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