postpartum depression, pregnancy, mental health, depression, womens health, northwest arkansas, womens clinic, PPDAre you struggling but aren’t sure how to talk to your doctor about postpartum depression? Keep reading for help.

Postpartum Depression

Symptoms can occur three months before giving birth and up to 1 year after the birth of your baby. Most mothers experience a sadness called the “baby blues” for the first two weeks after delivery. Still, some new moms experience postpartum depression (PPD), with approximately 1 in 8 moms in the US experiencing symptoms.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression can affect a woman’s ability to cope with daily tasks, care for her child, and connect with her friends and family. Women with PPD often fear they are not good mothers, have panic attacks, and struggle to think clearly or make decisions. Postpartum depression can happen to anyone.

The most common symptoms of PPD:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Irritability
  • Trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with the new baby
  • Persistent doubts about the ability to care for the new baby
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Fatigue or abnormal decrease in energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping (even when the baby is sleeping), awakening early in the morning, or oversleeping
  • Abnormal appetite, weight changes or both
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not have a clear physical cause or that do not ease even with treatment
  • Thoughts about death, suicide, or harming oneself or the baby

Talk to Your Doctor About Postpartum Depression

It’s important to keep track of how you’re feeling during and after pregnancy. A daily journal can help you have a meaningful conversation with your doctor. It’s common to feel worried, irritable, and tearful. Still, if feelings like these become severe and persist over prolonged periods, you’ll have a record to help start the conversation with your doctor.

When To Seek Help

If you’re feeling intense sadness after the birth of your baby, you may feel embarrassed. The symptoms of PPD can be overwhelming if faced alone, but many women have found help for postpartum depression. If you’re feeling symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, call your doctor and make an appointment and create a treatment plan for you.

Many women find relief through mental health counseling, medication, or both. You are not alone.

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 the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK.

Are you in Northwest Arkansas and need a health care provider? Contact the friendly staff at Creekside Center for Women. We are here to help. 479.582.9268