You never expected to feel like this. After delivery you had a jumble of
feelings and emotions that you were told were the postpartum blues.
But…it’s been 6 weeks since delivery and you just don’t feel like you.
You are not the only one!
Today we will talk about how to know you have postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression, also sometimes referred to as postpartum, affects
20% of mothers.
That’s 1 out of 5 women!
As common as it is, women may not be aware of this and more surprisingly,
may not be explicitly asked about this by their healthcare providers.
NO! Let me say that again- NO!
The feelings of being a “bad” mother may be part of the postpartum
depression symptoms BUT you are NOT a “bad” mother, you are not “failing”
at being a mom.
YOU SIMPLY HAVE A MEDICAL ISSUE THAT WILL IMPROVE WITH
This is the stigma that comes with postpartum
depression, that you are somehow weak or not adequate or you are
However, this can lead to feelings of guilt and shame and keeps you
from seeking the help you need.
Every mother has a different physiologic response to hormone changes and
comes with different risk factors and stressors which can spare one mother
and affect another.
We all have to do our part to BREAK THIS STIGMA!
TRUE! Anxiety is found to be a common symptom in 66%
women with postpartum depression.
So 2 out of 3 mom’s with postpartum depression also have
You feel on edge
You worry if the baby is gaining weight, maybe evening weighing the baby
all the time.
You have racing thoughts- you just can’t stop them.
You spend hours googling about something.
Sound familiar? Societal pressures and the mass information on motherhood
which urges you to do x, y, z just right or you’ll ruin your baby,
certainly adds to the feelings of anxiety and depression.
FALSE! Although 20% of mothers with postpartum
depression have thoughts of harming themselves, you do not need to
experience those symptoms to have postpartum depression.
Social myths about how motherhood should be and how
postpartum depression looks perpetuates the stigma
mothers who may have postpartum depression face.
*If you do have those thoughts, it is important to seek help right away!
All of the above are typical symptoms you may think of being associated
with postpartum depression, along with: sleeping too much,
appetite changes ( like overeating or forcing yourself to eat), difficulty
thinking clearly or concentrating and/or suicidal thoughts.
Here are some symptoms that are atypical but also commonly
experienced in postpartum depression.
Preoccupation with baby’s health or feeding
Agitation and Anxiety
Irritability, Anger and rage
Non-psychotic intrusive thoughts and images
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
If you are not feeling yourself and/ or are experiencing any of the
symptoms above or are unsure if you could have postpartum depression then
REACH OUT to a health care provider to get SCREENED.
A screening test asks a series of questions about how you're feeling and
let’s you and your health provider know if you are likely to have
postpartum depression. Proactive screening is necessary because often
depression can go unnoticed for many.
Left untreated, the results of postpartum depression can be devastating for
both the child and the mother.
Remember this doesn’t define you. You are not your disease.
You are a mother with a medical illness called postpartum depression and
getting the help you need will start you on your path to wellness!
*Please reach out to your health care provider or to a MaternalWell
specialist if you need support.
If you have thoughts of self-harm or harm to you baby, please call 911 or
go to your nearest hospital.