What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a treatable medical illness characterized by feelings of sadness, indifference, exhaustion and anxiety following the birth of your baby. It affects one in every ten women who have had a child, and can affect any woman, regardless of her age, race or economic background. It is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness, and it does not mean that there is anything wrong with your ability to be a mother. The exact cause of postpartum depression is not known, but certain chemical changes that take place in your body during and after pregnancy may contribute to it.
It can be hard to talk about feeling depressed after having a baby, because of our society's belief that this should be the "happiest time in your life." If you are suffering from postpartum depression, the time after you give birth feels anything but joyful. You may feel as if you aren't a good mother, or that the baby would be better off without you. These feelings may make you feel ashamed, and you may feel that you should hide them from your family and friends. However, it is important that you tell someone, whether it is your health care provider, a family member, friend or clergy member, and that you seek help. You can feel better, and getting treatment early is the best thing you can do for yourself, your baby and the rest of your family.
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Get help right away if you have any thoughts of harming your baby or yourself. Tell a medical professional, clergy member, loved one or friend immediately.
What are some risk factors for postpartum depression?
What can I do about postpartum depression?
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