Are You at Risk for Postpartum Depression? Eight Signs to Watch For

new mom with new baby

Any given year, millions of American women suffer postpartum depression. Because of the sensitivity of this condition, many women don't get help promptly. While most cases of postpartum depression resolve with time, treatment helps ensure the safety and well being of mother and child.

What is postpartum?
Also called "PPD depression" or "post-birth depression," it manifests as profound sadness that typically arises in the last few weeks before birth and worsens following birth. Any woman can suffer PPD, even if she has given birth before.

Warning signs include:
Feeling Sad, Overwhelmed, or Hopeless

Some changes in mood are a regular part of post-pregnancy, but profound negative feelings can suggest a problem. This is especially true if someone in your family has a history of PPD.

Difficulty Eating or Sleeping
New mothers often experience difficulty sleeping around a newborn's schedule. If problems sleeping persist for more than two weeks, however, it may be a symptom of PPD.

Losing Interest in Hobbies
Even new mothers need an outlet! Not having time for hobbies is one thing – but if you find you've completely lost interest in things that once mattered to you, PPD may be to blame.

Difficulty Forming Attachments with Your Baby
Women suffering PPD might report feeling like "an impostor" or as if their baby belongs to someone else. This robs them of the excitement and anticipation of early life milestones.

Severe Fatigue That Doesn't Improve With Rest
Chronic fatigue can arise from emotional factors, not just physical ones. Fatigue can make it hard to concentrate and adapt to the demands of motherhood.

Loss of Social Connections With Others
New mothers may find themselves drifting from old social circles and seeking new "mom friends" – but they shouldn't find themselves without any type of social support network at all.

Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt
Women with PPD can experience intense self-recrimination, blaming themselves for "something being wrong." These feelings can worsen over time if not addressed.

Thoughts of Harming Yourself or Others
Thoughts of harm are associated with many forms of depression. If you have these thoughts, it's important to get help right away.

SwedishAmerican Hospital
In Rockford, IL, and surrounding communities, SwedishAmerican Hospital helps mothers struggling with depression after birth. To find out more, contact SwedishAmerican Hospital today.