Your Mood and Mental Health Postpartum:
Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth. It can also happen after miscarriage and stillbirth. It is different from the baby blues, which usually go away within a couple of weeks.
Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth. It can also happen after miscarriage and stillbirth. About 1 in 4 women experience postpartum depression. You are not alone and you will get better with treatment.
- Postpartum depression can make you feel very sad, hopeless and worthless.
- Some women may feel anxious.
- Some feel a loss of pleasure in everyday things.
- Decreased appetite and weight loss (Some women feel hungrier and gain weight).
- Trouble caring for and bonding with your baby.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Not being able to concentrate
- It is different from the baby blues, which usually go away within a couple of weeks. In the Baby Blues you may feel emotional, sad, and overwhelmed in the first week. This typically starts around 4th day and eases up in less than 2 weeks. If not please call the office.
Postpartum depression seems to be brought on by changes in hormone levels that occur after pregnancy. Any woman can get postpartum depression in the months after childbirth, miscarriage or stillbirth but the risk is increased if:
- You have had history of depression/ PP depression.
- You have poor support from family, your partner or friends.
- You have a sick or colicky baby.
- You have a lot of other stress in your life.
- You are more likely to get psychosis if you or someone in your family has bipolar disorder.
Postpartum depression is treated by counseling and/or anti-depressant medications. Moms can still breastfeed their babies while on medications. Milder depression can be treated by counseling alone.
Resources for Postpartum Depression:
- MOMS program at El Camino Hospital
- An amazing program, they offer individual and group therapy
- (866) 789-6089
- You can also call the office and ask for a list of therapists we recommend.
- (650) 396-8110
More severe forms of depression after birth can lead to postpartum psychosis, which is very rare. This is an emergency because it can quickly get worse and put a woman or others in danger. Some of the symptoms are:
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Thoughts of suicide or harming the baby
In that case- call 911 for emergency medical care. For other resources, call:
- The national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- National child abuse hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Learn more about postpartum depression below from our psychiatrist Dr. Rania Awaad:
Try not to feel bad about yourself for having this illness. It does not mean you are a bad mother. Many women have this illness. Treatment can take time, but you will get better with treatment.