Depression After Pregnancy
Many new mothers experience what is known as “the baby blues”. With “the baby blues”, new mothers may have mood swings; feel sad, anxious or overwhelmed; have crying spells; lose their appetite; or have trouble sleeping. These symptoms do not tend to be severe, do not need treatment and generally do not last more than two weeks.
The symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD), however, last longer and are more severe. PPD can be disabling for a new mother. PPD is a type of major depression that affects about 1 in 10 new mothers within the first year after childbirth. PPD can have a negative impact on a new mother’s health and her ability to care for her infant.
Signs of PPD
Some symptoms of PPD may mean that a mother is experiencing something more serious than “the baby blues.” Multiple symptoms that don’t go away or thoughts of suicide may mean that the mother could need an evaluation by a health care provider or mental health professional. A new mother may experience extreme changes in:
· Physical symptoms
While it is a serious condition, PPD can be treated successfully with medication and counseling.
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For local mental health services, contact the Reachout Hotline (toll-free) 1-800-522-9054 or visit the ODHMSAS website at http://www.odmhsas.org
For more information and/or assistance, contact:
National Mental Health Association
(Toll Free) 1-800-969-NMHA (6642)
Postpartum Support International (PSI)
National hotline 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)
Julie Dillard, L.M.S.W. Alesha Lilly, Ph.D
Public Health Social Work/SIDS and Infant Safe Sleep Coordinator Director, Behavioral Health Program
Maternal and Child Health Service Child Guidance Service
1000 NE 10th Street 1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299 Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299
Phone: (405) 271-4471, E-mail: Julie Dillard Phone: (405) 271-4477, E-mail: Alesha Lilly