If you are a mom of multiples, twins or triplets or more, you have a higher risk of having postpartum depression than a mom who only has a single baby.
If you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or a history of having been hospitalized for mental health problems, your risk is also higher.
Postpartum depression is more serious than just having “the baby blues.” Mothers often feel guilty for being depressed and are reluctant to talk with their health care provider and seek the care they need.
Less than one third of women with symptoms of postpartum depression discuss their symptoms with a health care provider, in fact.
Here’s how you can recognize postpartum depression in yourself or a loved one:
- Not wanting to participate in day-to-day activities, including being with and caring for the new baby
- Wanting to be alone
- Feeling unable to face day-to-day activities
- Frequently feeling sad, tired and irritable
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of Anger
- Wanting to hurt yourself or your baby (see medical help immediately)
- A feeling of “baby blues” that seems to last longer or be more severe than you think it should be
If you have symptoms of postpartum depression, or even if you just feel that something is wrong, it is important for you to know that you are not alone, and that you are not a bad mother. If you have symptoms of depression, contact your health care provider (or mention it to your child’s pediatrician) so that you can get the help you need to starting enjoying your child—and life—again!