Pregnancy & postpartum depression

Depression can occur during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy it is referred to as antepartum depression, prenatal depression, or perinatal depression. Approximately 15% of women experience postpartum depression (PPD), this number is only accounting for the women that are diagnosed and seek help. More women experience it than you might think. Symptoms can start any time during pregnancy or within the first year postpartum.

Symptoms can include the following:

  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of interest in the baby
  • Appetite and sleep disturbance - a significant increase or decrease
  • Crying and sadness
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest, joy, or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
  • Possible thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.

Research shows that everything listed below put you at higher risk for developing depression during pregnancy or postpartum:

  • A personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS)
  • Inadequate support in caring for the baby
  • Financial stress
  • Marital stress
  • Complications in pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  • A major recent life event: loss, house move, job loss
  • Mothers of multiples
  • Mothers whose infants are in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)
  • Mothers who’ve gone through infertility treatments
  • Women with a thyroid imbalance
  • Women with any form of diabetes (type 1, type 2 or gestational)

Don't be afraid, remember that this is only temporary and can be treated with professional help.

For more information, support, and resources please visit Postpartum Support International at www.postpartum.net or call them at 1-800-944-4773(4PPD).