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I HAD A BABY…NOW I’M SAD

Most people automatically expect moms to be super excited about their new baby.  Well, taking care of a newborn can be hard, and A LOT of people develop what is known as “postpartum blues”, or “postpartum depression”.  Some people even consider suicide.  If this sounds like you, don’t be embarrassed.  This is very common and there are a lot of resources to help you.  You don’t have to do this alone!

Let’s talk about the two main categories: Postpartum Blues and Postpartum Depression.

POSTPARTUM BLUES (“BABY BLUES”): Mild depression that goes away quickly.

  • “Postpartum” is another word for the time period shortly after a woman gives birth
  • Moms may feel sad, anxious, or irritable; they may have trouble concentrating or sleeping well
  • Symptoms typically develop within two to three days of delivery and resolve within two weeks
  • Affects 40 to 80 percent of moms
  • The cause is unknown, but it may be because of hormonal changes

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: Depression that impacts you more than “baby blues” and does not resolve quickly.

  • “Postpartum” is another word for the time period shortly after a woman gives birth
  • To be diagnosed with depression, you MUST experience a depressed mood or loss of interest in things you used to like to do.  You will also notice other things, such as changes in sleep, energy, appetite, weight, sex drive, etc.  (For an online depression quiz, see the online resources listed at the end of this blog.)
  • Most women with postpartum depression will start having symptoms within a month after giving birth, but it can be up to 12 months before a woman starts having symptoms.
  • Affects 8 to 15 percent of moms
  • The cause is unknown, but it may be because of hormonal changes

It can be hard to tell if a woman has postpartum depression, since some of the symptoms might also be caused by the stress of taking care of a newborn.  (For example, it might be normal for a new mother to sleep too much or too little, to feel tired, or to have appetite changes.)  If you think that you or someone you know might be depressed, notify a health care provider.  If you are thinking about hurting yourself or your baby, see someone RIGHT AWAY! 

Online Depression Screening Tool: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area,anytime 24/7. www.suicidepreventionlifeline

This website is for educational purposes only.  Notify a medical provider immediately if you are concerned about depression.  #DrNita

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