Being a new mom is exhausting, and it's natural to feel low now and then. But for 8 percent to 26 percent of women, it goes further — they suffer from postpartum depression, which can be mild, or severe enough to prompt thoughts of suicide. Postpartum depression may last from 3 to 12 months and may have serious consequences for the whole family, including the baby
. Studies show that young infant
s behave differently with their depressed mothers than they do with new moms who don't have postpartum depression. And that difference is not good for their development.
Whether it's full-blown postpartum depression or a bad case of the baby
blues, newborns are very sensitive to their mothers' moods, so get help right away if you're still feeling sad, tearful, or down on a regular basis.
These are the most common symptoms of postpartum depression (not all have to be present for someone to have it):
- Change in appetite
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of energy
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of concern for personal appearance
If you've experienced some or all of these symptoms, remember that it's not
your fault. See your health care provider right away to find out the right way to treat your depression, for your sake and your baby's.
Get more information from Dr. Freda on postpartum depression.