Perintatal Depression
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What is Perinatal Depression

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 or longer.

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.

Age, education, culture and socioeconomic status determine a woman’s chances of perinatal depression.

Perinatal depression and anxiety can occur during pregnancy and up to the first year after the birth or adoption of a baby.

It can happen to ANY WOMAN!

Learn More
     Mental Health Association of Maryland
     National Institute of Mental Health
     Postpartum Support International
     Department of Health & Mental Hygiene,
     Maternal & Child Health Bureau
About the campaign:  Healthy New Moms: Maryland's Campaign to End Depression During and After Pregnancy is a public information and provider education campaign to promote mental and physical wellness in new mothers and their families.

Healthy New Moms: Maryland's Campaign to End Depression During & After Pregnancy is an outreach campaign funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and with the support of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.