You’ve just had a beautiful baby, and you had expected to be filled with joy during this time. Instead, you are overwhelmed by feelings of dread, self-doubt, sadness, and confusion. Feeling overwhelmed –
particularly in those first few months – can be totally normal: You have a new family member, you’re not sleeping much, and you have a lot on your plate. But if your feelings seem to be something else, something perhaps a little more severe, it may be that you have postpartum depression, or PPD. This condition is not a flaw or a sign of weakness —
instead, it can be considered a complication of childbirth. Read on to find out what postpartum depression is, learn some of the signs and symptoms, and find some coping mechanisms that may help you manage your symptoms in conjunction with your healthcare provider’s plan.
Postpartum depression is a medical condition that causes a new mom to feel severe and long-lasting negative emotions or thoughts in the months after giving birth. Some of the main signs and symptoms of PPD are listed below. Postpartum depression can occur after any delivery — not necessarily the first one. It usually starts between 1 and 3 weeks after the baby is born, but for some women, it may begin several months later, or even up to a year after birth.
About one in seven women who’ve given birth experience this condition. Around half of those later diagnosed with PPD may start to have symptoms during pregnancy.