It’s common for new moms to experience some stress, sadness and anxiety. Talk to your doctor if you encounter any emotional concerns after having a baby. Did you know…According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression, typically 1 to 4 weeks after delivery.
Our compassionate care teams help mothers identify potential problems and find resources.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Some of the more common symptoms a woman may experience include:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
- Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when her baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
- Eating too little or too much
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
- Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
- Thinking about harming herself or her baby.
How is postpartum depression treated?
There are effective treatments for postpartum depression. A woman’s health care provider can help her choose the best treatment, which may include:
This treatment involves talking one-on-one with a mental health professional (a counselor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker).
Two types of counseling shown to be particularly effective in treating postpartum depression are:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people recognize and change their negative thoughts and behaviors; and Interpersonal therapy (IPT), which helps people understand and work through problematic personal relationships.
- Medication: Antidepressant medications act on the brain chemicals that are involved in mood regulation. Many antidepressants take a few weeks to be most effective. While these medications are generally considered safe to use during breastfeeding, a woman should talk to her health care provider about the risks and benefits to both herself and her baby.
These treatment methods can be used alone or together.
Call your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Our Birth Center nursing team and hospital Social Workers are also available to guide you in finding the right help.