If you’ve recently had a baby and you feel intense feelings of anxiety or hopelessness, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
Feeling anxious or overwhelmed after you have a baby is normal. But if these feelings linger and intensify for more than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. It’s important to recognize the signs and tell your doctor:
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Crying frequently
- Having no energy or motivation
- Eating too little or too much
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Trouble focusing or making decisions
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Headaches, chest pains or heart palpitations
- Having no interest in the baby
If you have a history of depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor before delivery to have a plan in place after the baby arrives.
Speak Up, Seek Help
Having postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad person or terrible mother. It’s common and these steps can help you cope:
- Talk with your doctor, who may refer you for further evaluation
- Rest as much as you can
- Don’t put pressure on yourself or let others pressure you
- Ask for help with household chores and baby care
- Don’t hide your feelings; talk to family and friends
- Try to get out of the house every day; don’t spend too much time alone
- Talk with other mothers; their experiences may benefit you
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