Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of mood disorder that can affect women after giving birth. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that can make it difficult to care for oneself and one’s baby. PPD can occur at any time during the first year after childbirth, but it most commonly begins within the first few weeks.
The symptoms of PPD can vary from woman to woman, but some common signs and symptoms include:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Thoughts of harming oneself or baby
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor. PPD is a treatable condition, and with the right help, you can get better.
There are a number of things that can increase a woman’s risk of developing PPD, including:
- A personal or family history of depression
- A history of trauma or abuse
- A difficult pregnancy or childbirth
- Lack of support from family or friends
- Stressful life events
If you are at risk for PPD, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent it, such as:
- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors
- Get support from family and friends
- Take care of yourself physically and emotionally
- Learn about PPD and its symptoms
- Get treatment if you start to experience symptoms
If you are diagnosed with PPD, there are a number of effective treatments available, including:
- Support groups
With the right treatment, most women with PPD can make a full recovery. If you are struggling with PPD, please know that you are not alone. There is help available, and you can get better.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful: