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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