Postpartum depression (PPD) is a medical condition that causes severe, long-lasting negative emotions or thoughts in the months after the birth of your baby.

  • The feelings associated with PPD can be so strong that you find yourself unable to do normal daily tasks like caring for yourself & your baby.
  • PPD symptoms usually appear between 1 – 3 weeks after your baby is born. PPD may begin up to a year after giving birth.
  • In some cases, it may start before you give birth, while you are still pregnant.
  • With PPD, your feelings of sadness & emptiness linger, typically lasting more than 2 weeks. This condition is not a character flaw or a sign of weakness.
  • PPD is a common complication of childbirth.
  • PPD affects 10 – 15% of women after giving birth. It’s common.
  • PPD can interfere with your day-to-day life & prevents you from enjoying motherhood & bonding with your baby.
  • If you have symptoms of PPD, please know that you are not alone & there is help available.
  • Please talk to your pediatrician for a referral, or call a counselor, or psychologist & arrange a meeting.
  • With psychotherapy and/or medication you can recover and feel better.
  • There are antidepressants that are compatible with breastfeeding, however it may take 6 – 8 weeks to see improvement.

Risk factors for antepartum & postpartum depression.

All of the factors listed below put you at a higher risk for developing these illnesses.

  • If you have any of these, please discuss them with your medical provider so that you can plan ahead for care should you need it.
  • A personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS)
  • Inadequate support in caring for the baby
  • Financial stress
  • Marital stress
  • Complications in pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  • A major recent life event: loss, house move, job loss
  • Mothers of multiples
  • Mothers whose infants are in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)
  • Mothers who’ve gone through infertility treatments
  • Women with a thyroid imbalance
  • Women with any form of diabetes (type 1, type 2 or gestational)

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD):

  • Feelings of hopelessness & despair
  • Feeling depressed or having mood swings, & crying a lot
  • Excessive irritability & anger
  • Having trouble bonding with your baby, or having no interest in your baby
  • Feeling that you are not a good mother
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Early morning awakening
  • Overwhelming fatigue & loss of energy
  • Having trouble focusing or making decisions
  • Finding it difficult to handle everyday tasks
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Less interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, or inadequacy
  • Severe anxiety or having panic attacks
  • Experiencing headaches or stomach problems
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

*** PLEASE call your pediatrician or obstetrician to discuss how you feel & get help.

You can find more information about perinatal depression at the website at

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