While many women welcome the birth of a new baby as a joyous occasion, some develop depression as the hormones change drastically in the body. It is usual for moms to experience bouts of depression starting within two days of the baby’s birth and lasting about two weeks. Some women develop much more severe depression.

Postpartum Depression

About one in five women giving birth experience postpartum depression, which can initially mask itself as baby blues, but it is much more intense and can last much longer. While it is natural for the new mom to cry, some women cannot stop crying. Women experiencing postpartum depression also have trouble bonding with their babies, and they lose interest in all activities and fear that they will not be a good mother. In the most severe cases, they may have thoughts of killing themselves or the baby and may be unable to think clearly.

Postpartum Psychosis

About one in 1,000 women develop postpartum psychosis. This is an emergency because women often think about harming themselves or their baby. Women experiencing postpartum psychosis have lots of energy and trouble sleeping, and they often hallucinate, become paranoid or delusional. The woman may become obsessed with her body.

Postpartum PTSD

About 9% of women experience postpartum PTSD. These women usually had some trauma happen during their child’s birth or gave birth to a child with special needs. These women often constantly have flashbacks or always replay the event mentally. They often become very irritable and frequently have outbursts, and they may also have panic attacks. Women who have experienced sexual abuse or another form of child abuse earlier are more prone to postpartum PTSD.

Especially if the woman is thinking about hurting herself or her baby, call first responders immediately. Otherwise, we would love to help. Several treatments can help, including psychotherapy. In some cases, antidepressant and antianxiety medications can help. Reach out to ABC today for a free initial consultation.



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