Postpartum depression warning signs: What to look for

Having a baby is a beautiful and wonderful time. But did you know that 1 in 7 women in the U.S. get postpartum depression? It’s true.

While many women get “the baby blues” after giving birth – feeling sad, anxious, tired or stressed – some women develop the more serious postpartum depression. According to the American Psychological Association, postpartum depression is a mood disorder and doesn’t go away on its own. Appearing weeks or even months after birth, postpartum depression – or PPD — makes it hard for moms to get through the day, care for baby or themselves.

Any woman can get PPD – whether it’s your first baby or second, third, fourth… PPD also crosses racial, age, culture and marital status lines, according to the APA. Women who have a experienced anxiety or depression in the past might be more at risk for PPD, however.

So what are the warning signs and risk factors for PPD? Read on:

Risk factors

While PPD can strike anyone, women with a history of depression or anxiety seem to be more susceptible. Also, women with a family history of mental illness might be at risk as well, as are women who have high-needs babies or babies with special needs. Other stressful events, like a death in the family or issues with money or your job may also play a role, as does a lack of help or social support, according to the APA.

Warning signs

If you suspect a friend or loved one has PPD, there are some warning signs. The signs may be different for different women, according to the APA, but look for changes in appetite, anxiety, blaming oneself, crying and sadness, loss of interest in things one used to enjoy, sleep changes and lack of interest in the baby.

When to get help

If you or someone you love has been struggling after birth for longer than two weeks, get help. Treatment is available and it does help!

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