Depression and anxiety are the most common complication of childbirth, and postpartum mood disorders can occur up to a year after childbirth. At least 14% of Utah moms struggle with symptoms they may not recognize as a problems such as insomnia, avoiding family or friends, irritability, anger, lack of enjoyment in things they used to love, scary thoughts they are afraid of, or wishing they could disappear.
Although any woman (or man!) can experience postpartum depression, people who have the following are at a higher risk:
- A complicated pregnancy
- A premature birth
- Are single mothers
- Had postpartum depression with a previous child
- Had a mom or sister with postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorder
- A complicated or traumatic birth
- Mixed feelings about the pregnancy, whether it was planned or unplanned
Becoming a new parent may bring with it a range of emotions. You may not feel depressed but maybe you are overreacting when you normally wouldn’t, maybe you aren’t interested in anything, or maybe you have uncontrollable and upsetting thoughts. You may have baby blues, postpartum depression or are just experiencing being a new mom. Often we think these emotions the blues, but if you are not feeling like yourself two or three weeks after having a baby, or find it difficult to care for yourself or your infant, it can be something else. For a list of other postpartum mood disorders, check out PSI Utah’s Signs and Symptoms page.
The help you need might be as simple as focusing on sleep, nutrition, more water or social support. It might also include counseling, therapy, medication, or a combination.
If you are not feeling like yourself, reach out for help. You deserve to be well.
- Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative for materials and resources in Utah
- Visit The Emily Effect to find stories of brave women just like you.
- Postpartum Support International or call 800-944-4773
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255
- “Mom. Are you Feeling Blue?” (PDF download)
- Postpartum Education for Parents
- Utah Maternal and Infant Health Program