According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 8 women experience the signs of postpartum depression. Those moms need some extra help to get things on track, and that’s ok too! There’s no shame in getting the help you need. You should know the signs of postpartum depression so you can be on the lookout for them and seek help when necessary.
About Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression will usually occur about one to three weeks after childbirth, but it’s possible for it to occur up to a year after the birth. The length of time someone can suffer from postpartum depression varies widely on an individual basis. This can depend on their access and responsiveness to treatments, lifestyle, and support system.
Postpartum Depression vs Baby Blues
Many women will experience what is known as the baby blues, which generally begin a few days after the baby is born. Symptoms include feeling depressed, upset, or anxious. Women with the baby blues may have trouble sleeping and eating, cry easily for no clear reason, and have difficulty in making decisions. They may also doubt their ability to care for the new baby. The baby blues will come and go and usually get better after a week or two on their own.
However, postpartum depression is a more serious condition that interferes with a woman’s ability to function during daily life. Intense feelings of anxiety, sadness, despair, and inadequacy plague those who have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can make caring for yourself and your baby difficult. In some cases, it can also interfere with your ability to bond with your baby.
Signs of Postpartum Depression
Now that we’ve talked about the differences between postpartum depression and the “normal” emotional ups and downs women go through after having a baby, we can talk about three major warning signs of postpartum depression you should look out for.
Red flags that may be a sign of postpartum depression are:
- You are withdrawing from your partner and loved ones and have trouble bonding with your baby.
- Your anxiety is out of control and interrupting your ability to eat well or sleep (even when the baby is sleeping).
- You have overwhelming feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Your thoughts may become preoccupied with escaping or wishing you were not alive.
Getting Help for Postpartum Depression
At City of Oaks Midwifery, we believe in caring for the whole woman in all stages of her life. If you have any questions about the signs of postpartum depression, we recommend you seek help as soon as possible. Call (919) 351-8253 to make an appointment at our Raleigh, NC midwifery practice.