What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression, by its
abbreviation, "PPD" - a type of
depression that affects 1 in 8 new
mothers within a year after giving
PPD is a sadness that lasts a long time. If
you are a woman with depression, you are not
are some of the symptoms of the PPD:
Loss of interest or pleasure in life
energy and motivation to do things
Sleeping too much or too little
like life isn't worth living.
Irritability, anxiety or restlessness
Feeling worthless and guilty
Withdrawal from friends and family
too much or too little
trouble remembering things,
concentrating or making decisions
thoughts of hurting yourself
about hurting your baby
What PPD is not:
not something to
not your fault.
not a sign of weak personality.
is an illness that requires medical care
just like diabetes is an illnes that
requires care. You
can take steps
to deal with PPD and its symptoms.
Tips for Coping With PPD
Find someone to talk about your feelings.
Talk to another mother about your feelings and
may have "words of wisdom."
Ask your family for help with childcare, chores and errands.
Find time for yourself. Try
to exercise (walking), take a bath or something
else that you enjoy. Give
yourself 15 minutes a day!
not worry about being perfect, and know that
your feelings are normal.
Avoid being alone
Eat a good, healthy diet. Make
several meals a day with smaller portions.
Keep a diary. Write
down your emotions. You
will notice that what you write in your diary will change and show
a better and
healthier person as time goes on.
Remember that it is okay to feel overwhelmed
parenting is hard!.
Talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or nurse midwife about how
Checklist of Symptoms:
Use this list if
you think you might have PPD. If
you feel you have any of the symptoms listed
below, which have lasted more than 2 weeks and
are affecting your life, talk to your doctor,
nurse or midwife.
Loss of confidence
Full of doubts
Unable to make decisions
Unable to laugh
Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
Items in bold
print require immediate attention. Please
see your doctor. "
Who can get PPD?
When I can get PPD?
Why should I get PPD?
Any woman who has had
a baby in the past year can get PPD. There is no warning
It doesn't matter how old you are, what race you are, or
how much money you have.
PPD can occur anytime during the first
year after giving birth. Symptoms
last 2 weeks and affect your ability to function as
After giving birth to a baby, breast
sometimes go through emotional changes due to a decline
in the chemicals in the body called hormones. These
changes may include mood swings, sadness, crying spells,
changes in appetite, trouble sleeping and feel anxious,
irritable or lonely.
Remember, it is not because of something
you did. Depression
is caused by a chemical imbalance.
With whom should I speak?
Where I can get help?
Can I keep this private?
What about cost?
Get help first talking to your doctor,
nurse or midwife. They
can help and can give you medicine for depression or
suggest a counselor. You
can also join groups with other mothers like you.
Yes, your medical care is confidential. However,
it is a good idea to discuss your treatment with your
spouse or a close friend so they can help through this.
Treatment of PPD is equal to the
treatment of any medical condition, the costs are
covered by insurance or other assistance through federal
or state insurance.
How does PPD affect me and my baby?
How can mothers with PPD
Can PPD come back once I feel better?
When a mom has PPD, she may lack energy and
have no desire to play with her baby.
She may have trouble paying attention to things.
She may not be able to meet her babyís needs for love. This
may make her feel guilty and lose confidence in herself
as a mother- which makes PPD even worse.
Good news- treatment is available and it
There are 2 main types of treatment for
postpartum depression: medication and therapy.
You might be at risk following the birth
of future children. If you get help for your PPD and
still donít feel better, talk to your doctor, nurse
practitioner, or nurse midwife.
Do not be afraid to ask for help! You
and your baby deserves health and happiness!
You can learn more about
the PPD at the following locations:
National Women's Health
Information Center (National Center for Women's Health
Phone (800) 944-9662
Phone (888) 35-PSYCH or
Phone (800) 944-4PPD or
(800) -944 to 4773
Tulare County HHSA
Perinatal Wellness Program
Funded by Tulare County
Department of Mental Health
You can download a
version that can be printed from:
Developed with the
support of NIMH Contract # HHSN278200554096C