PostPartum Depression

Feeling Sad after Your Baby is Born

Having a baby is exciting and full of joy. But it also places a great deal of stress on both a mother’s body and emotions. These emotions may be intensified by the exhaustion that comes with waking up several times during the night to take care of your baby. So don’t be surprised if you experience strong mood swings in the first few weeks as your baby returns to normal.

These changes can even prompt sudden crying for no apparent reason, or feelings of mild depression. All this is normal. But if after a few weeks you still feel depressed or overwhelmed, you may need to consult your own doctor.

Most women experience feelings of anxiety and depression after their baby is born. Many women experience “baby blues,” but postpartum depression (PPD) is more severe and prolonged. It’s estimated that around 10% of women experience PPD.

Women should talk with their doctor if they’re experiencing symptoms of PPD. Treatment can help. Counseling and support groups can also help. Avoiding treatment can seriously affect bonding with your baby as well as the baby’s growth, development, health and safety.

Symptoms of PPD

  • Insomnia (Trouble Sleeping)
  • Exhaustion
  • Excessive sleeping but still feeling exhausted
  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Crying spells without obvious cause
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Feelings of despair and/or worthlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Poor concentration

PPD is treatable. Contact your doctor or call the PostPartum Depression Hot line at 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)

—- from First5 Advice for New Parents

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