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Postpartum depression – know the signs

Posted by CarePoint Health on Aug 19, 2015 1:00:00 PM

signs of postpartum depressionMost new moms go through a range of emotions after having a baby. Exhaustion, relief, anxiety, elation, and everything in between may be going through your mind in those first days and weeks. Although many of these emotions are normal and expected, it’s important to learn the difference between temporary feelings and a medical issue that needs treatment.

Feeling blue after having a baby

Many moms experience the “baby blues,” which generally last a week or two and can cause sadness, crying, appetite changes, exhaustion, and worry. Up to 80 percent of new moms experience at least some of these emotions, largely due to hormonal shifts, lack of sleep, and adjusting to your new life as a mom. Be assured that this is normal, and with some time and support from family and friends, these feelings should vanish completely within a couple of weeks.

More than just the blues

Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a serious medical condition. It is more than crying and feeling overwhelmed for a couple of weeks. Symptoms of postpartum depression last much longer and are severe, making it difficult to carry on with daily life. They typically include some of the following:

  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having little or no interest in your baby
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Loss of interest in any activities
  • Frequent anxiety or nervousness
  • Excessive sleeping, or sleeping very little

If you are experiencing these symptoms, don’t wait for them to disappear on their own. If you don’t seek treatment, the depression could go on for months or even years, and have a serious impact on your life and your family. In severe cases, it can lead to attempted suicide or harm to your child. There are safe and effective treatments that can help you get back to your normal self again. Treatment options for postpartum depression may include medication, talk therapy, or a combination of these.

Consider taking the postpartum risk assessment on our website to find out if you should talk with your gynecologist about this condition. It takes only a minute or two to complete.

Postpartum depression is not normal, and is not something you should try to overcome on your own. Your physician will work with you to find the best possible plan of action so you can get back to living your life and enjoying your new baby.

CarePoint Health Women’s Services

With the help of a skilled gynecologist at CarePoint Health, you can optimize your health and prevent women’s health issues throughout your life. For more information about the comprehensive women’s services we provide, please contact us

Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.

Topics: OBGYN, Women's health, Pregnancy, Depression

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