Dealing With Postpartum Depression

Having a baby is often an exciting time for new mothers, but there’s no denying that it can also be a trying time, bringing up a host of strong emotions. If you struggle with postpartum depression, you are not alone! Let’s discuss the signs and symptoms of the condition and ways to deal with it.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mental health condition that affects approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States. PPD brings strong feelings of anxiety, sadness, worry, and fatigue lasting weeks or months beyond the baby’s birth.

Other symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Crying too much
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming tiredness or loss of energy
  • Less interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, or inadequacy
  • Reduced ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Restlessness
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Baby Blues

There is a misconception that baby blues and PPD are the same, but this is not the case. Women who go through the baby blues feel similar symptoms and mood swings just after having their baby; however, they typically only last a few weeks. March of Dimes says that baby blues can affect up to half of women and go away without treatment.

Who Is at Risk?

Any pregnant woman is at risk for developing PPD, but according to research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, several factors put women at higher risk, including being a first-time mom. Other risk factors include age, socioeconomic status/stress, complications during childbirth, a lack of emotional support, or emotional or physical abuse from a partner or family member.

Treatment for Postpartum Depression

The most common way to treat postpartum depression is through therapy. Psychologists, therapists, or social workers with experience in perinatal and postpartum mental health conditions can work with a mother dealing with depression and create a strategy to help them. Medication is another form of treating women with postpartum depression, most commonly antidepressants. In 2019, the FDA approved a neurosteroid called brexanolone to treat postpartum depression.


Below are links for resources if you or someone you know is dealing with PPD:

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