Learn More About Postpartum Depression, The Symptoms And How To Proceed If You Think You're Experiencing It.

Learn more about postpartum depression, the symptoms and how to proceed if you think you're experiencing it.

Postpartum depression is serious and something that is, thankfully, more widely discussed. I recently read a guest post on a friend's blog about a mom's struggle with postpartum depression. I think it's wonderful when moms share their struggles, because for someone going through postpartum depression, that one story might just be the lifeline they need. According to the National Institute of Health, postpartum depression is "moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery." Postpartum depression is not the same as the "baby blues," which include feelings of irritation, fearfulness, anxiety and restlessness -- these can occur a week or two after having a baby. The NIH lists the following symptoms of postpartum depression:

  • Agitation or irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Significant anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Problems doing tasks at home or work
  • Negative feelings toward the baby

Additionally, a woman experiencing postpartum depression might have unexpected feeling toward her new baby, such as feeling unable to care for him, being afraid to be left alone with him, having negative feelings toward him and being unable to care for herself or her baby. Your doctor can diagnose you with postpartum depression, which is so important because that will allow you to receive treatment. One diagnostic tool is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. It is a good place to start if you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression. Beyond medication, which your doctor can most certainly prescribe, there are wonderful resources and places of support online. Definitely check out Postpartum Progress for information and links to even more information and support. Remember that you are not alone if you are suffering from postpartum depression and there is help! More on postpartum depression Dads can experience postpartum depression Inpatient unit for moms with postpartum depression Depression during pregnancy

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