Postpartum Depression Signs
Inherent to the immediate postpartum time is struggle. Physical healing, lack of sleep, the learning curve of newborn care, and the drop in hormones associated with birth and breastfeeding are just a few components that contribute to the struggle. More than 50% of women experience the “baby blues” in the form of irritability, anxiety, crying and difficulty sleeping. This phase is usually short-lived at 1-2 weeks after birth as hormones level out.
Some people however experience a prolonged bout of depression in the postpartum time and it’s important to look out for signs to avoid suffering. Somewhere between 10% and 20% of postpartum moms experience postpartum depression.
Whether you are the partner, a family member, or the postpartum parent, here are some common postpartum depression signs to look out for, particularly past the 2-week mark after the birth.
Postpartum Depression Signs
- Excessive crying
- Severe mood swings
- Feeling disconnected or not bonding with baby
- Sleeping difficulties (insomnia or sleeping too much)
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Thoughts of harming yourself or baby
- Overwhelming fear or anxiety about baby’s safety
What to Do
If the symptoms above continue or worsen beyond 2 weeks postpartum, here are some action steps.
- Tell your partner or inner circle.
- If you are the partner accessing the situation, express concern and encourage treatment.
- Call your OB or primary care doctor who can recommend treatment which may include medication and/or a referral to a psychiatrist.
- Call a therapist specializing in postpartum depression.
- Join a support group.
- Reach out to friends for support. This is so common and you will find people within your community who can share their experiences, encourage, and normalize.
Postpartum depression is merely a symptom of giving birth and not a reflection of your values or worth as a parent. Do not suffer in silence. The sooner it’s addressed, the sooner it can be managed and healed, so you can enjoy this time with your growing family.
At Village Birth, we offer a safe space for honest conversation, retreat, and honoring the transition into parenthood. Therapist Dana Nassau is available for individual sessions and a support group specifically for mom experiencing postpartum depression or struggling. https://www.dananassau.com/motherhood-support-group
Village Birth offers doula services, childbirth classes, newborn care classes, lactation and pregnancy support for Los Angeles. Our space is in Sparrow’s Nest in Pasadena (bordering Eagle Rock) where we hold classes, support groups, workshops, and meetups. Interested in learning more about the birth process and options available in your birth setting? Check out Village Birth’s prenatal classes.