Postpartum depression affects 1 in 8 women during the first months following childbirth. This condition is brought on by different factors, and not all women feel, act, or are affected the same.
Postpartum depression is the temporary depression in women that is directly related to recently giving birth. It comes in two forms: early onset and late onset. Early onset postpartum depression is generally referred to as the “baby blues” and may affect as many as 80% of women after delivery. This early onset of postpartum depression typically lasts for only a few weeks and will resolve itself without medical intervention. However, it is the late onset of postpartum depression that many women are surprised by because it is not typically recognized until several weeks after delivery. By this time, most new moms are into their “groove” with scheduling and feeding, yet an onset of depression that is more than just the “blues” can be overwhelming and have more lasting symptoms.
It is extremely important that women let their health care providers know that they are experiencing any form of depression or “blues” that last longer than two weeks. Symptoms of postpartum depression can be mild such as sadness, anxiety, tearfulness, and trouble sleeping (even when the baby is sleeping). Symptoms of more severe postpartum depression can be much more intense and frightening. Many women with severe PPD feel unable to care for their baby or babies, unable to care for themselves, and may have thoughts that relate to hurting themselves or their baby. Because of this, many women find that they are embarrassed to talk about their feelings, feeling ashamed and fearful. However, with professional intervention, almost all women who experience PPD are able to overcome their depression and take good care of themselves and their babies, and older children in the family.
While women who have struggled with depression before pregnancy are more at risk for PPD, postpartum depression can affect almost any woman following giving birth. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. we are a comprehensive, compassionate, and sensitive obstetrics and gynecology practice that provides a broad range of women’s medical care. We understand that pregnancy and childbirth and adjusting to motherhood are all huge changes that women undergo. These changes in life and in hormonal levels can have huge effects on how women feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression following the birth of your baby, please contact us right away. We are here to help you navigate this difficult time so that you can develop into the mother and woman that you desire to be. Do not put off making the call. We are here for you.