What is Post-Partum Depression?

Post-partum depression can begin at any time during the first year after your baby is born. This does not mean you're a bad mother or have done something wrong, you simply have a medical condition that needs to be treated. Here are some signs and symptoms of post-partum


 

Most women feel sad and overwhelmed at times after having a baby. It’s hardly surprising: your sleep is being interrupted, your hormones are going through some dramatic swings, and you have the huge responsibility of caring for a tiny new person. And for many mothers, there’s little help and support to get through all these changes.

For some, though, the changes in mood and emotions are more serious. If you notice that you have some of these symptoms, not just once in a while but consistently, you may have post-partum depression. If you think that may be the case, please talk to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible. This does not mean you are a bad mother or have done something wrong: you simply have a medical condition that needs to be treated (and treatment does not necessarily mean medication).

Postpartum depression can begin at any time during the first year after your baby is born, and may include the following symptoms:

  • You feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with caring for your baby.
  • You feel that your baby would be better off without you, because you are not coping or you are not a good mother.
  • You feel detached and disconnected from your baby.
  • You feel irritated, impatient and angry at everyone, including your baby.
  • You feel either very sad (can’t stop crying) or completely emotionless and numb.
  • You have no appetite. Food seems tasteless and unappealing.
  • You want to eat all the time: food is the only thing that makes you feel better.
  • You have difficulty sleeping. People tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, but you can’t. You have trouble falling asleep, and when you do get to sleep, you often wake up after an hour or two even if the baby isn’t crying.
  • You sleep all the time and can’t seem to get out of bed.
  • You have trouble focusing or concentrating. You feel like you’re in a fog.
  • You feel like running away from everything. You may even be considering suicide.

Even if you just have one or two of these symptoms, it is worth talking with your health-care provider about them. 

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