Postpartum depression (PPD) occurs in 70-80% of women after having their baby. Women experiencing postpartum depression begin to feel depressed, anxious and upset usually 2-3 days after baby delivery. The new mothers can feel angry with the new baby, their partner or their other children for no clear reason. If you have any of the following feelings, you should make an appointment to see your OBGYN immediately.
Signs of Postpartum Depression
- Crying for no clear reason
- Trouble sleeping, eating or making choices
- Always questioning if you can handle taking care of a baby
- Feeling sadness, guilt, helplessness and doubt
- Trouble doing tasks at home or at work
- Not being able to care for yourself or your baby
- Change in appetite
- Things that previously brought you pleasure no longer bring you pleasure
Postpartum depression is one of the most treatable forms of depression, so do not hesitate to get help and feel better. Contact our office so Dr. Hill can determine if postpartum depression is the correct diagnosis for you. If diagnosed with postpartum depression, recommended treatments may include:
- Light Therapy
- Support Groups
There are also some things you can do prior to or after giving birth to reduce symptoms of postpartum depression:
- Prepare yourself: Enroll in childbirth or parenting classes, read and talk to pregnant women and new mothers to get a clear idea of what to expect when having a child.
- Create a support system: Reach out to your friends, family and partner for help when you need it.
- Get your rest: Ask your partner or a family member to watch after the baby so you can sleep through the night a couple times per week and occasionally take a power nap.
- Make healthy food choices: A balanced diet leads to a better mood and the loss of post-pregnancy weight.
- Get your exercise: Walking, Pilates, swimming and prenatal yoga classes can help elevate your mood and make you feel better.
- Make time to be with other adults: Sign up for a class, join a local mom’s group or interest group, or schedule lunch with a friend.
- See a professional before giving birth: Find a doctor or mental health expert who can be your ally and provide postpartum depression treatment if necessary.