Maternal Depression Awareness

Maternal Depression Awareness

By Emma Handsel, RN, BSN

RN Perinatal Educator

Women’s & Children’s Resource Center

NCH Healthcare System

The BirthPlace

According to the March of Dimes, postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the most common medical conditions that a mother can experience after birth and affects 1 out of every 7 mothers.

Postpartum depression occurs after a mother has given birth and is included under the umbrella of perinatal depression. A mother might experience depression at any point during her pregnancy and up to one year after giving birth. It is very common for women to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and even a little depressed about two to three days after giving birth, lasting about one to two weeks.  This is known as the “baby blues” and affects up to 80% of women. This is very self-limiting, and moms should start to see improvement quickly without needing treatment. A mother who is suffering from postpartum depression may experience more intense symptoms that limit their ability to take care of their baby or conduct their daily activities.

It is often difficult for mothers to see these symptoms in themselves and a loved one or friend might be the first ones to identify some of these behaviors that could be a sign of postpartum depression. Open communication is very important and discussing how you or your loved one feels while they are still pregnant is a great place to start.  If you are unsure if what you are seeing or experiencing is normal, it is critical to reach out for help right away. Do not wait for your scheduled postpartum follow-up appointment. Call your physician that has cared for you during the pregnancy and let them know what is going on. There are many treatment options for postpartum depression such as medications, talk therapy, or a combination of both. Every mother deserves to enjoy her time with her precious new baby to the fullest.

While communication with family and loved ones is so important, it is also imperative to make connections with other recently delivered moms as the postpartum period can feel very isolating. NCH BirthPlace hosts a free postpartum support club on the first and third Thursday of every month at noon. This is a wonderful opportunity for new moms to connect, share experiences, and discuss any concerns they might have, including feelings of anxiety or depression. Please feel free to call for more information at 239-624-6224 or drop by anytime for one of our club meetings!

 

May 17, 2023 | Blog, Mental Health

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