What Is Postpartum Depression?
A woman who has postpartum depression feels sad, “down” or depressed. She also has five or more of the following symptoms lasting two weeks or longer:
-Trouble sleeping (even when the baby is asleep or when others are caring for the infant)
-Lack of interest
-Feelings of guilt
-Loss of energy
-Changes in appetite
-Restlessness or slowed movement
-Thoughts or ideas about suicide
Postpartum depression can begin at any time within the first three months after delivery. It can seriously threaten both the woman and her baby. Since the mother is seriously ill, she may not be able to care for her baby as she would if she were well. The disease may make it hard for the mother to breastfeed or bond with her baby. For these reasons, postpartum depression is a threat to newborns.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your health care provider. If necessary, your provider can refer you to a mental health professional.
IMPORTANT: If you ever think about hurting yourself or your baby, contact your health care provider immediately.