Do You Know the Signs of Postpartum Depression?

It's important to know the symptoms of postpartum depression in order to seek help if necessary.

Do You Know the Signs of Postpartum Depression?

By Depression Connect StaffA Published at December 1, 2017 Views 3,384 Comments 3

According to Postpartum Progress, 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth develop postpartum depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates this number at eight to 19 percent for women in the United States, with around 950,000 women each year experiencing the emotional hardships of postpartum depression immediately after childbirth.

If you or someone close to you has recently given birth, look for these signs and seek help if necessary:

Difficulty sleeping

One of the most common symptoms of postpartum depression is difficulty sleeping. This doesn't mean mothers have trouble getting rest because their newborn is keeping them up. Instead, those suffering from postpartum depression may not fall asleep even when their baby is snoozing, meaning they’re constantly exhausted. They also may wake up repeatedly even when not prompted by a crying baby.

Emotional disconnect

For many, the time after having a baby is full of love and joy. Family and friends visit the mom and baby at the hospital, and they may even help out when the baby comes home for the first time. But not every new mother enjoys the attention, and some feel disconnected from their child once he or she is born. This emotion can be disconcerting and can also be directed toward a spouse, partner, or the loved ones who gather to support the new mother after the baby is born. Mothers who experience this disconnect may feel discouraged, as though something is wrong with them.

Paranoia

Some new moms with postpartum depression experience paranoia. They may think someone is going to take their baby away or they are going to hurt the baby themselves. Some amount of protectiveness, like not wanting an untrustworthy person to babysit, is normal. That being said, not letting responsible people look after the baby may be a sign of postpartum depression.

Worry

Mothers who have just given birth may find themselves worrying too much. They may be concerned that they cannot properly take care of the child, even though they are completely capable and have plenty of support. Others may feel guilty or ashamed thinking they aren't a good mom or shouldn't have had a baby.

Risk factors

There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of having postpartum depression:
• Women who had difficulty getting pregnant
• Women who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth, or who have experienced the death of a newborn
• Mothers whose babies have birth defects or health conditions

Keep in mind that healthy mothers who have healthy babies can still develop postpartum depression. If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing this issue, talk to your doctor.

Have you experienced postpartum depression? What other symptoms did you experience that others should be aware of? Share in the comments section below.

For more on postpartum depression:

The U.S.'s First Postpartum Depression Clinic
Fear of Childbirth May Predict Postpartum Depression
Breastfeeding Problems Can Lead to Postpartum Depression

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