5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Postpartum Depression

Apr 19, 2023
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The baby blues isn’t an old wives tale, nor is its more serious cousin — postpartum depression. Mood disorders after childbirth can be mild and temporary or severe and ongoing. Guard yourself and your baby with the facts.

You’re no stranger to hormone imbalances and their annoying symptoms, like mood swings. Most women have experienced waves of irritability, sadness, and even mild depression around the time of their monthly periods.

Pregnancy amps up those emotional shifts as hormones surge through you like never before. But often, the hormonal decline you experience after delivering your baby hits the hardest. This common phenomenon once carried a negative stigma, and many women had trouble convincing others — including their doctors — that the problem was real.

Today, we know better. Postpartum depression is well-studied and treatable.

In Dayton, Ohio, women with postpartum depression find skilled and compassionate help from Carrie Cogley, APRN, at Primrose Women’s Health. Carrie understands the symptoms that accompany postpartum depression: mood swings, guilt feelings, sleep issues, and more. She acknowledges your experience and offers tips along with evidence-based treatments to help you overcome postpartum depression and enjoy being a mom. Here are five things she wants all women to understand about postpartum depression.

1. Postpartum depression is real

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mental health disorder that can occur after childbirth. It’s a serious and long-lasting condition that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. PPD can develop in the first few weeks or even several months after delivery, affecting your ability to care for your baby and yourself.

Giving birth to a child should be one of the most beautiful experiences in your life. However, it can also be confusing and challenging for one in seven women who suffer from PPD.

That’s why Carrie Cogley emphasizes PPD awareness among all new moms and encourages mothers to talk about their feelings and experiences and seek help.

2. Postpartum depression: Why me?

PPD has no single cause, but several factors can trigger it. Hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and physical recovery after childbirth can contribute to PPD. So can other factors, such as stress, lack of support, and a history of depression.

3. Recognize the signs of postpartum depression

PPD symptoms can vary from person to person, but some common signs may include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless for most of the day, nearly every day
  • Lack of interest in things you previously enjoyed
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired and having little energy
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Having thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Women with PPD also cry a lot and seem to have little or no connection with their babies. You may feel guilty or ashamed because you know you should feel happy and don’t want others to view you as a “bad” mom. Unfortunately, hiding these emotions and trying to overcompensate with fake happiness only worsens the problem. The sooner you talk to us, the sooner you can get back to mothering your baby joyfully.

4. Am I at risk for postpartum depression?

PPD can affect any woman after childbirth, but some risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing the condition, such as:

  • A history of depression or anxiety
  • Difficult or traumatic childbirth
  • Breastfeeding difficulties
  • Lack of social support
  • Financial and relationship problems
  • Misuse or abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Have a baby with special needs
  • Having a baby before you’re 20

Having these risk factors doesn’t mean you’re doomed to get PPD, but knowing what’s on this list can let you know what to watch for.

5. Effective treatments offer hope for postpartum depression

Fortunately, Primrose Women’s Health offers hope to women with PPD. We provide multiple treatment options.

One of the most effective treatments for PPD is talk therapy (which also happens to be one of the most effective treatments for depression). During one-on-one discussions, we can help you identify strategies that help you change your emotions and behaviors. Support groups can also help you manage PPD.

For some women, antidepressant medication brings much-needed symptom relief. However, many such medications aren’t safe to take while you’re pregnant breastfeeding, so talk with our team about these issues.

Finally, lifestyle changes like eating well and exercising can do wonders for many women. 

If your “baby blues” don’t go away after two weeks, don’t hesitate to call us or book an appointment online. Ignoring PPD affects both you and your baby. Get help now.