Postpartum depression can begin just after baby’s birth — or up to a year after baby is born. (Depression can also begin in pregnancy, but it is referred to as perinatal depression). Symptoms include:
- feeling sad, down or depressed,
- feeling anxious or panicked,
- problems with eating or sleeping
- Upsetting thoughts you can’t get out of your mind
- Feeling as if you are “out of control”
- Feeling you should never have become a mother
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Worry you might hurt yourself or your baby
These symptoms last more than 2 weeks and can occur in mothers and fathers. Postpartum depression is one of the most common complications of having a child, and while it is incredibly difficult to experience, it is also extremely treatable! “Bad parents” do not “get” postpartum depression. All sorts of people face the challenge and they are not to blame.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above for more than two weeks- please reach out to someone and ask for support. If it is too hard for you to contact a mental health professional yourself- ask a friend or family member to help you.
Feel free to reach out to me- I’m happy to help you find a qualified professional in your area. If you are in North Carolina, I’d be happy to discuss seeing you as a client. There are counselors, social workers and psychologists who have special training in working with moms and dads who are living with postpartum depression- seek them out so that you can receive the very best care, and find relief.
How to find professionals with training in working with postpartum depression? Look for professionals who have done training with Postpartum Support International (PSI), Postpartum Stress Center, or the International Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health. These are not the only three training institutes, but you can ask someone if they have any concentrated training in treating people with postpartum depression. https://psidirectory.com/ is a wonderful directory that lists professionals with specific training in support pregnant and postpartum women.
Every woman deserves great mental wellness during her transition to parenthood! Warmly, Jenny Schermerhorn. Licensed Mental Health Therapist.
This post is not meant to take the place of medical care or a relationship with a trained mental health therapist.