Despite the fact that postpartum depression has long been known, many experts believe it is not being properly diagnosed. As knowledge about postpartum depression grows, more health care providers are looking for risk factors in their patients as early as their first prenatal care visit. If a woman is at risk, her health care provider can evaluate her moods throughout the pregnancy. After a woman gives birth, she and those close to her should watch for signs and symptoms of depression. Her health...
Lose or gain weight. You may also feel like eating more or less
Sleep too much or not enough. You may also have trouble sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping.
Feel restless and not be able to sit still, or you may sit
quietly and feel that moving takes great effort. Others can easily see this
Feel unusually tired or as if you have no energy.
Feel unworthy or guilty. You may have low
self-esteem and worry that people don't like you.
Find it hard to focus, remember things, or make decisions. You may feel anxious or worried about things.
Are you depressed?
If you have
at least five of the above symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, and one of the
symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest, you may have depression and may
Even if you have fewer symptoms, you may still
be depressed and may benefit from treatment. No matter how many symptoms you
have, it's important to see your doctor. The sooner you get treatment, the
better your chance for a quick and full recovery.
If you think you may
have depression, take a short quiz to check your symptoms:
Interactive Tool: Are You Depressed?
This severe condition is most likely to affect women who have
bipolar disorder or a history of
postpartum psychosis. Symptoms, which usually start
during the first 3 weeks (as soon as 1 to 2 days) after childbirth,
Feeling removed from your baby, other people,
and your surroundings (depersonalization).
Disturbed sleep, even
when your baby is sleeping.
Extremely confused and disorganized
thinking, increasing your risk of harming yourself, your baby, or another
Postpartum psychosis is considered an emergency requiring
immediate medical treatment. If you have any psychotic symptoms,
seek emergency help right away. Until you tell your
doctor and get treatment, you are at high risk of suddenly harming yourself or
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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