Not the same thing as the familiar term “baby blues,” postpartum depression is a truly serious health issue, and according to the National Institute of Health, 15% of new mothers can suffer from it. If you have recently given birth, or know someone who has, remain mindful of these postpartum depression symptoms and support options.
Know the Signs and Signals
Whereas the “baby blues” is a combination of fatigue, worry, and feeling anxious after the birth of a baby, it only lasts a few weeks and then subsides. When you are tired, both your body and mind suffer. That’s why it’s helpful to have another person there for support and to help you through the first several weeks of motherhood after the birth.
Mood disorders often occur and can affect women after childbirth due to sudden hormonal changes that cause a drop in both estrogen and progesterone.
Postpartum depression lasts longer than a few weeks, and includes more serious signs and symptoms, including:
- Feeling disconnected to your baby and others around you
- Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
- Crying often and for no apparent reason
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Eating too much or not enough
- Losing interest in things you normally enjoy
- Trouble making decisions and not being able to concentrate
- Anger and anxiousness
- Feelings of guilt
- Thinking about harming yourself or your baby
These feelings are clear indications of postpartum depression, and should be addressed as soon as possible by a medical professional. There is nothing to be ashamed of or hide from others, as many women experience symptoms of postpartum depression after childbirth, and can be successfully treated by the providers at DeKalb Women’s Specialists for this condition.
When to Ask for Support
If you recognize any of the postpartum depression symptoms in yourself or another new mom and they continue to last longer than a week or two, getting help quickly is the best way to avoid a serious incident. Begin by calling DeKalb Women’s Specialists and explain what you are experiencing. There are medications and therapy options to relieve postpartum depression.
If you are unable to care for your baby due to your sadness, reach out to a family member or close friend for assistance while you address your personal health concerns with DeKalb Women’s Specialists. If there is no one available to help you, one option is to contact Postpartum Support International. This is considered a “warm line” where you leave a message, and a trained volunteer will call back to follow up.
For more emergent situations, you can speak to someone immediately by calling the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. Another option is to text 741741 to the Crisis Text Line. If you are afraid you may hurt yourself or your baby, call 911.
Getting the help and treatment you need, and getting that help as soon as possible, is the best way to prevent a serious event. Contact DeKalb Women’s Specialists if you experience any of the postpartum depression symptoms mentioned for more than a few weeks.