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What You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

Having a baby is overwhelming. Even if it’s not your first, the disruption in sleep, additional responsibilities, and lack of time for yourself and your partner can take a toll on your mental well-being. As excited as you might be about your new baby, it is not uncommon to experience a bit of the “baby blues.” However, if you’ve been feeling sad and lonely for several weeks after the birth of your baby you may have postpartum depression (PPD). 

Postpartum depression is a mental condition that can happen at any time during the first year after childbirth. The way to tell that your mood swings may be more than just the blues is that the feelings of depression and anxiety last much longer than a couple of weeks and actually interfere with your abilities in daily routines. There is no specific cause of what brings on PPD, but the hormone fluctuations, stress and lack of sleep play a role in its development. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression can start off like those of the baby blues. Some symptoms of PPD include:

  • Losing interest in socializing and hobbies
  • Sensing extreme anxiety, loneliness, or hopelessness
  • Feeling disconnected from your baby
  • Crying or feeling sad with no obvious reason
  • Unable to focus and lack of motivation
  • Experiencing thoughts of doing harm to yourself or your baby.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can affect your baby, so it’s important to seek help. Symptoms may lead to neglecting doctor appointments, feeding and sleep schedules, lack of parental bonding – that can all cause developmental problems. 

Common treatments for postpartum depression depend on the severity of the symptoms. If you are diagnosed with postpartum depression your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve anxiety and depression. A treatment center or counseling may be recommended for severe cases.

If you feel that you may be suffering from postpartum depression, please give your healthcare provider a call. There is no shame in what you’re feeling. In fact, postpartum depression is very common.

We are here to help you. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers, please call us at 307-634-5216.

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