Postpartum depression is surprisingly common and our society doesn’t do that great a job identifying women who are suffering from this problem. This disorder can impact the health and well-being of your newborn child, and be a very negative experience for you. This type of depression and/or anxiety can affect any woman, regardless of age, income, birth experience, health, or previous history, so all women and families need to be alert for symptoms. Postpartum depression is more common in women with a history of depression or previous postpartum depression.
It is normal, in the first week or two after your baby is born, to have some ups and downs in your emotions – this is known as the “baby blues.” One moment you may feel happy, and the next moment you are sad or crying. This is very normal, as your hormones are changing and you have just been through an emotional and possibly exhausting experience. However, this should resolve within a short time frame, and be fairly mild.
If, after a week or two (or sooner), you notice you are feeling very sad, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, helpless, ashamed, or out of control, you might have postpartum depression. Some women even have thoughts of hurting themselves or their baby. Women who have had a baby are at risk for postpartum depression for a full year after the birth of the child.
If you think you have any symptoms of postpartum depression, PLEASE call us right away. We can help you sort through emotions you are experiencing, help you with any problems, and make sure you receive treatment for this serious postpartum illness.