Depression is an illness which is caused by
chemical changes in the brain. Perinatal depression is depression
that occurs during pregnancy and up to 12 months after giving birth.
It can be caused by changes in hormones during pregnancy and after
having a baby. It can also be caused by the many stresses of being
a new mother.
Postpartum depression, or depression after delivery, is different
from post-partum “blues,” which peak three to five days
after delivery and usually end within two weeks after the baby’s
birth. Medical experts believe that postpartum blues are due to
hormonal changes in a woman’s body which make her feel more
irritable, sad and confused. The feeling of the blues usually lessens
and goes away over time.
A woman with perinatal depression has symptoms that last two weeks
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Depression:
- Feeling very sad, anxious or cranky
- Frequent crying
- Not feeling up to doing daily tasks
- Not feeling hungry, or eating when not hungry
- Not wanting to take care of yourself (dress, shower, fix hair)
- Trouble sleeping when tired, or sleeping too much
- Things don’t seem fun or interesting anymore
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling hopeless
- Trouble making decisions
- Worrying too much about the baby or not caring about the baby
- Fear of harming or being alone with the baby
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Need somebody to talk to? Call Postpartum Support International, available 24/7, 1-800-944-4773.