Giving birth can trigger a range of emotion from fear and worry to excitement and joy. And thanks to all the hormones coursing through their blood stream, new moms can go from sadness to elation in just a few moments. Most mothers experience sadness called the “baby blues” for the first two weeks after delivery. But some new moms experience postpartum depression, a condition affecting one in nine women, or about 3 million in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Postpartum depression causes long-lasting exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, and sadness. Symptoms, which can last for months, can affect a woman’s ability to cope with daily tasks, care for her child, and connect with her friends and family. Women with postpartum depression often fear they are not a good mother, have panic attacks, and struggle to think clearly or make decisions.
Postpartum depression can happen to any woman. Recently supermodel and author Chrissy Teigen shared about her experiences with postpartum depression. In an interview for Glamour, Tiegen said, “I was different than before. Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. My lower back throbbed; my shoulders—even my wrists—hurt. I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food, and you know how big of a deal food is for me.”
She continued, “I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone. I also don’t want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody.” For the full interview, go to https://www.glamour.com/story/chrissy-teigen-postpartum-depression.
If you’re feeling intense sadness after the birth of your baby, you may feel embarrassed. But the symptoms of postpartum depression can be overwhelming if faced alone. Many women have experienced and found help for postpartum depression. Your doctor can help create a plan for treatment. If you’re feeling symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, call your doctor and make an appointment. Many women find relief through mental health counseling, medication, or both.
If at any time, you are having thoughts of harming your baby or yourself, seek help right away from your partner or loved ones. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, call a suicide hotline number—in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.