Postpartum Depression: What Every Mother Should Know Before It’s Too Late

According to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (Murkoff & Mazel, 2008), 60-80 percent of new moms experience postpartum depression, also known as the “baby blues,” after the birth of their child. Moms may feel unexpected sadness, irritability, and anxiousness and can experience episodes of crying several times throughout the day.

Thankfully, baby blues tends to fade after about a week or so for most moms. If you’re still feeling depressed after two weeks, or you feel like your symptoms have worsened, call your doctor immediately to set up an appointment to discuss the possibility of postpartum depression. 

“Your Pregnancy & Birth” (The American College of Obstericans and Gynecologists, 2005) reports that about 10 percent of new moms are diagnosed with postpartum depression, that’s why it’s crucial that women seek appropriate treatment and counseling from their doctor. The symptoms of postpartum depression and postpartum sadness are very similar, yet much more intense. They include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness or anger that come 1-2 months after birth
  • Feelings of doubt, guilt, or helplessness that seem to worsen each week
  • Thoughts of harming the baby
  • Exhaustion
  • Intense worry and concern about your baby
  • Scary or bizarre thoughts that repeat in your mind
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping most of the time
  • Lack of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
  • Lack of interest in or feelings for the baby

Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, president of Postpartum Support International and coordinator of perinatal mood disorders at Clarian Women’s Services in Indianapolis, says that women’s experiences with postpartum depression vary, and it is unlikely that you will identify with all the above symptoms.

Depression among new moms can negatively affect a parent’s caregiving, material support, and nurturance, and is often associated with poor health and developmental outcomes for children of all ages, including prenatally. Depressed mothers are also more like to have poor parenting skills and to have negative interactions with their children.

Thankfully, postpartum depression is very treatable and early intervention is crucial for you, your baby, and your family’s health and wellbeing. Treatment choices include counseling, prescribing of antidepressant medication, or a combination of both. It is important that you are honest and upfront with your doctor when discussing your symptoms because it will aid in deciding what type of treatment is best for you. 

 

  • Guestaccount*** :)

    I had post-partum depression and let me tell you, it is no joke! I knew that I loved my son, but I didn’t want to hold or play with him. I didn’t feel the strong connection that most first time mothers had. I just wanted to sit in my bedroom and cry all day. THANKFULLY my husband drug me (not literally) out of bed one day and was like you need help!we’re going to the doctor. This was 6 months ago. Everything is back to normal now, and i feel like my old self. But i want to say if you’re having any symptoms of ppd to please seek help, especially if you feel like you want to hurt your child. Don’t be embarrassed, your doctor would rather help you than see you or your child in a situation that could’ve been prevented. xoxo

  • Toni Boom Boom Bean

    While it very true that lots of woman are suffering from Post-partum depression.
    The medical industry is so wicked and corrupt! They don’t give a dam about women!
    When a lady becomes pregant her progesterone hormone rises to about 200 more time than normal! When she give’s birth it plummets, hitting rock bottom CAUSING THIS POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION!
    She doesn’t need counseling, or these addictive mind control drugs that will cost her insurance about $500.00 a month, that she will most likely be told that she will need the rest of her life!
    All she needs is a Bio-Identical hormone specialist that can give her a higher strength of PROGESTERONE CREAM that she cam simply rub on her skin!
    Most doctor’s due not care about women! they care about the money!
    They play games with our lives, not all doctor’s but most The progesterone cream does not cost more than $ 80.00. That’s right $ 80.00 but you have to go to a BIO_IDENTICAL HORMONE Doctor your obgyn is most likely on the take from kick backs from these drug companies!

  • Tiffany M.

    I had post partum depression coupled with anxiety after the birth of my son almost 3 years ago and it got so bad that I admitted myself into a hospital. Doctors need to talk to expectant mothers about PPD. Many don’t know about it and end up suffering like I and many other women do. I was suicidal and almost gave up. There is a stigma of being seen as crazy but having PPD does not mean your crazy. We as a society do not provide enough emotional support for our mothers. Having a child is a huge stressor as well as joy. We need to educate the masses about PPD in order to prevent tragedies and improve the lives of mothers, their babies and their families.

  • CCB

    I had PPD with my son almost 4 yrs ago and it was a very scary experience. I did not want to harm myself or my son but I did not have a connection with him like people told me I would. I cried A LOT and I looked as raising my child as a chore. I was like a robot doing what I needed to do to make sure he was cared for. I knew I loved him but it was an experience that I cannot explain. I even almost gave my BF temporary custody of my son. I really had to sit down and get myself together and understand that this was a huge life change but something I could do if I loved my son. My son is almost 4 yrs old and we are two peas in a pod. I cannot honestly see myself without him. I am currently pregnant with my 2nd and final child and I pray that I do not get PPD again. I want to feel that bond with this child that I missed with my son. I plan to do everything I can to make sure if I do get PPD, I get the help I need like I did with my son.