What are the signs of Postpartum Depression?

After the baby comes, women are often overwhelmed with many feelings.  A mother may feel tired, happy, anxious, frustrated, in love, and blue.  Sometimes all at once!  A breast feeding specialist once told me, when the milk comes in, so to the tears.  So many feelings! However, PPD steps these feelings up a notch.  Signs that you may be experiencing PPD are:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day every day
  • Feeling shame, guilt, or like a failure
  • Feeling anxious or scared all the time
  • Severe mood swings

Changes in daily habits are to be expected with a newborn.  However, signs that you may have PPD are:

  • Having little or no interest in things you normally like to do
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Gaining or losing weight (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby)
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much (not justified by the fact that you are up at strange hours tending to your baby)
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby and have little sleep)

An important sign that you need to pay attention to is how you feel about yourself or your baby.

  • Are you having trouble bonding with your baby?
  • Do you think of hurting yourself or your baby?
  • Do you think about killing yourself?

Can having PPD affect your baby?  Yes!  If you are suffering from untreated PPD your baby may:

  • Have trouble bonding with you
  • Cry a lot
  • Be delayed in development
  • Show behavior problems

If you feel you may have PPD, call your health care provider right away.  There are medical interventions and therapies that can help.  If you are feeling suicidal or like you will harm your baby, please call 911 immediately.

Please come back tomorrow as Natalie discussed treatment options for PPD.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

*Source: March of Dimes “Postpartum Feelings” from www.marchofdimes.com

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield