A new recommendation from a group of independent experts convened by the government could help more new and expecting mothers avoid depression, one of the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
We’re starting to understand the importance of mental health as a society, and the importance of prevention, the future is definitely going to be psychologists within primary care departments.
Signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth vary, and they can range from mild to severe.
Postpartum baby blues symptoms
Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth.
Signs and symptoms of ‘baby blues’ — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include: Mood swings, Anxiety, Sadness, Irritability, Feeling overwhelmed, Crying, Reduced concentration. Appetite problems, Trouble sleeping.
With postpartum psychosis, a rare condition that typically develops within the first week after delivery, the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms may include: Confusion and disorientation, Obsessive thoughts about your baby, Hallucinations and delusions, Sleep disturbances, Paranoia, Attempts to harm yourself or your baby.
Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.
When to see a doctor
If you’re feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, you may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. But if you experience any symptoms of postpartum baby blues or postpartum depression, call your doctor and schedule an appointment. If you have symptoms that suggest you may have postpartum psychosis, get help immediately.
Helping a friend or loved one
People with depression may not recognize or acknowledge that they’re depressed. They may not be aware of signs and symptoms of depression. If you suspect that a friend or loved one has postpartum depression or is developing postpartum psychosis, help them seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait and hope for improvement.