If you (or a loved one) have recently had a baby and are experiencing changes in your mood you may be wondering if you are experiencing postpartum depression. It can be difficult to differentiate between the normal emotional adjustments to becoming a parent and a perinatal mental health concern such as postpartum depression. In fact, it is estimated that around 80% of new mothers experience the “baby blues” during the first 2-3 weeks postpartum.
The symptoms of postpartum depression are more severe and don’t go away quickly. It is believed that at least 15% of women experience significant depression following the birth of a child. If you experience any of the following symptoms during the first year postpartum and, you may be experiencing postpartum depression:
- Frequent sad feeling or crying
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Change in appetite
- Feelings of guilt
- Poor concentration
- Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Difficulty connecting with or bonding with your baby
- Feeling disconnected from other loved ones
- Anger or irritability
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or your baby
Did you know, it is also possible to have depression during your pregnancy and that is considered prenatal or antepartum depression?
If you believe you or a loved one may be experiencing prenatal or postpartum depression, it is important to know that these are treatable conditions. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support. A trained mental health provider can help you assess whether you have prenatal or postpartum depression and help you identify the best treatment option for you. The treatment options range from therapy to medication and more.
If you are from the South Metro, I would be happy to speak to you about how I may assist you in further assessing and treating your symptoms. You can click here to read more about the counseling services I offer for new or expecting parents. I can also be reached at 952-457-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are from outside of Minnesota, I suggest visiting the Postpartum Support International website to locate support in your area.
Please remember that in addition to symptoms of depression, some new parents experience symptoms of anxiety or post traumatic stress. I will be addressing these symptoms in an upcoming post, but please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to learn more about these topics before I write additional posts.