Depression is a serious mental health condition that can affect anyone, at any time in their lives. For pregnant women and new mothers, depression can be especially difficult to deal with.
Pregnancy and postpartum depression (PPD) are both very real and very common. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 7 women will experience PPD in their lifetime. While depression can happen to anyone, there are certain risk factors that may make a woman more likely to develop PPD. These include:
- A history of depression or other mental health conditions
- A family history of depression or other mental health conditions
- life events (such as job loss or relationship problems)
- Limited social support
- Having a baby with health problems
What are the signs that you have PPD?
The signs and symptoms of PPD can vary from woman to woman. Some women may have just a few symptoms, while others may have many. The most common symptoms include:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty most of the time
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that used to bring joy
- withdrawing from friends and family
- difficulty bonding with your baby
- changes in eating or sleeping habits
- feeling hopeless, guilty, or worthless
- thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
What are the treatments and management for PPD?
If you think you may be suffering from PPD, it is important to seek help. There are many effective treatments and management strategies available. These include:
- Psychotherapy: This can involve one-on-one sessions with a therapist or group therapy sessions with other mothers who are dealing with PPD.
- Antidepressant medication: Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant that is safe to take while breastfeeding.
- Self-care: This includes things like getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.
- Social support: This can come from family and friends, or from support groups specifically for mothers with PPD.
Can your family help you with PPD?
Absolutely! Family support is crucial for mothers with PPD. Here are some things that family members can do to help:
- Educate yourself about PPD and its symptoms.
- Be there for her emotionally, but don’t try to fix her problem.
- Help her with household chores and childcare so she can take some time for herself.
- Encourage her to get professional help if she seems to be struggling.
Is PPD Treatable?
Yes, PPD is a treatable condition. With the right treatment and support, most women with PPD will make a full recovery. If you think you may be suffering from PPD, don’t suffer in silence – reach out for help.
If you are pregnant or have recently had a baby and are feeling depressed, it is important to seek help. Depression is a treatable condition, and there are many resources available to women who are dealing with PPD.
If you are struggling with depression, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This is a free and confidential 24/7 service that can provide you with support and resources. You are not alone.
Feel free to book an appointment with one of our providers to help you with PPD!