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Postpartum Depression

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

What is postpartum depression?

Having a baby can be an exciting time. However, as exciting as the journey may be, it can also be difficult for some mothers. Between physical, hormonal, and emotional changes, and learning how to care for a new baby, it’s normal to experience some changes along the way. Your life is totally readjusted so you can expect some growing pains. You may have heard of the “baby blues,” but what happens when emotions take over and begin to interfere with your daily life?

Postpartum depression is a clinical form of depression associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Although it might not be widely talked about, it is rather common, with 1 in 7 newborn mothers experiencing symptoms. Postpartum depression usually starts within the first three weeks after your baby’s birth. And this doesn’t just affect first-time mothers – it’s possible to experience postpartum even if you haven’t with previous births. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt related to not wanting to bond with or care for your baby are key indicators of postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression symptoms

If you are experiencing postpartum depression, you may have a very different experience than someone else. However, there are some common symptoms to keep an eye out for.

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Despair
  • Difficulty caring for your baby
  • Trouble feeling close to your baby or bonding with them
  • Loss of interest in things that bring you joy
  • Trouble focusing
  • Issues with memory
  • Crying often, sometimes for no reason
  • Severe mood swings
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of postpartum depression can last for months on end and maybe even longer.

Baby blues vs postpartum depression

The baby blues can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks after your baby is born. While many of the symptoms are similar to postpartum depression (anxiety, mood swings, sadness, irritability, crying, appetite changes, trouble sleeping), there are some differences. First, the baby blues don’t last as long as postpartum depression. Second, if you have postpartum depression, you will feel these symptoms more intensely than you would if you had the baby blues.

Feelings of depression after such a joyous occasion can cause you to be torn and not want to reach out for help. On the contrary, this is the best time to ask for help. If you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of sadness and despair for prolonged periods of time after giving birth, help is available. If you are having thoughts of self-harm or harm to your baby, you should seek professional help immediately.

Treating postpartum depression

Treatment for postpartum depression is available and Harmony Bay Wellness can help. Our postpartum depression treatment plans typically include therapy services, such as group therapy and individual therapy. Psychoeducation, compassion-focused therapy, and medication may also be introduced when necessary. Additionally, our trained professionals will teach you methods of balancing and structuring your new routines and self-care regimens and healthy coping skills that can be integrated into daily life to reduce depressive symptoms.

At Harmony Bay Wellness, we offer a range of mental health treatments to help treat your postpartum depression and get you on track to enjoying time with your baby. Contact us today at 855.857.6050.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.