Understanding Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

What is postpartum depression? It’s more than just the “baby blues”. It is a severe form of clinical depression related to pregnancy and childbirth. Symptoms most often occur within the first three months of childbirth. It is estimated that one in seven women will experience postpartum depression. New moms who live in poverty or have a history of traumatic experiences, are much more likely to experience postpartum depression.

The good news is, postpartum depression is treatable.    

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:

  • Depressed mood lasting more than two weeks
  • Difficulty feeling joy about the new baby
  • Not feeling bonded to the new baby
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased feelings of anger or irritability
  • Decreased libido
  • Decrease in level of interest in people, things or activities
  • Changes in appetite – eating too much or not enough
  • Anxiety and worry about the baby’s health or safety
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Strong thoughts of hurting oneself or one’s baby

How does a mother’s depression affect her children?

  • Depression inhibits healthy child development due to limited quality interaction from mom.
  • Depression causes decreased eye contact, interactions and bonding between mother and child.
  • Children raised by depressed mothers see the world differently – are people available and trustworthy?

Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression:

  • Changes in hormone levels after childbirth
  • Having a child who has a chronic illness or a developmental problem
  • Inadequate housing, family or social support
  • Financial Stress
  • Violent, abusive or manipulative relationships with partner or family members

Addressing postpartum depression?

  • Seek mental health treatment to build skills in reducing symptoms of depression.
  • See a medical doctor to determine if medication is advisable.
  • Spend time with other new mothers who can relate to what you’re going through.
  • Engage in self care activities.

Call 913-742-4357 or visit our counseling page to learn more of schedule an appointment.

Learn about our mental health services