Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Treatment

new mom with new baby

More than 80 percent of women feel some degree of fear, anger, sadness or anxiety following a child's birth. For many women, however, these unpleasant feelings go on for weeks and might worsen over time – developing into a case of postpartum depression, also known as PPD.

Millions of women from all over the United States suffer postpartum depression. Because this is such a sensitive subject, however, many women will never access the care they need to manage these feelings in a safe and healthy way.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Are you at risk for postpartum depression? Feeling postpartum depression does not mean you are or will be a bad mother – and nothing you did caused it to happen. However, if you have a prior history of PPD or experienced depression during pregnancy, you may be at risk.

Some common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Loss of appetite and insomnia lasting more than two or three weeks after birth;
  • Feeling that you have little attachment or emotional connection with your child;
  • Feeling afraid that you might harm yourself or your child.

During pregnancy, many significant changes to brain chemistry take place. Experts believe PPD, as with many types of depression, is caused by neurochemical imbalances. It's important to remember that postpartum depression usually will subside with appropriate treatment.

Postpartum Depression Treatment Options

At the Women's Center of SwedishAmerican Hospital, we take women's health seriously. That includes helping women navigate the unique challenges, feelings and experiences that come with motherhood. We facilitate a number of support groups, including the Breastfeeding Support Group, so you never have to feel alone when facing life after pregnancy.

Support groups are one important part of a complete treatment plan for postpartum depression.

A full plan of treatment will also involve lifestyle changes. A healthy diet that includes sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can help. Adopting the right habits, such as sleeping when the baby sleeps, is also valuable in easing depression and managing its symptoms.

The experts at SwedishAmerican can also help you explore which medication options may be right for you. In most cases, postpartum depression requires only a relatively short course of medication. Medication helps you regulate your mood, energy levels and sleep.

If you suspect you have PPD, don't suffer in silence. Contact SwedishAmerican today.