5 Common Signs of Postpartum Depression

Jul 03, 2023
5 Common Signs of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression needs prompt treatment. Read on to learn about its causes, symptoms, and effective treatments.

The birth of a baby is typically joyous, and mothers-to-be may be busy before the birth with enjoyable things like decorating the nursery, being the guest of honor at her baby shower, and preparing to finally meet her baby. However, after the birth, there’s a steep learning curve. 

You’re getting to know your baby’s needs, learning how to care for them, and squeezing in a nap or a shower whenever possible. Giving birth also redefines your entire identity.

A significant amount of new moms — about 15% — experience postpartum depression, which is unique because it emerges immediately after the birth of a baby. Dr. Amy Carnall and Cristina Sertway, APN, offer patient-focused and sensitively delivered care for new mothers experiencing postpartum depression at Clarity Psychiatric Care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. 

Forgoing treatment for postpartum depression can make it worse. That is why it’s essential to seek care. 

Depression versus postpartum depression: What’s the difference?

Clinical depression is marked by a loss of interest in things you once loved, sleep and appetite changes, low energy, problems focusing, or suicidal thoughts. 

Though some symptoms overlap with postpartum depression, it’s also defined by others. 

Clinical depression can be linked to trauma, such as abuse, illness, a significant life event, or genetics, among other factors.

Postpartum depression is thought to be linked to the drastic hormonal shift that occurs after you have a baby, the significant physical changes your body undergoes as a result of childbirth, exhaustion, the impact of the birth on your relationships, concerns about whether you’re doing everything right as a mom, and more. 

You’re at higher risk for postpartum depression if you have a personal or family history of depression or postpartum depression, you’re experiencing discord with your spouse, had pregnancy complications, or are a single parent. 

Common postpartum depression symptoms

Here’s a helpful list of five frequent postpartum depression symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of them, please seek care because postpartum depression not only affects you but your baby as well. The condition is also different from “baby blues,” which typically resolve within two weeks of delivery. 

1. Sleep problems

Many women with postpartum depression can’t sleep, either because they have insomnia or their sleep is disrupted from waking every couple of hours to feed their baby. Either way, you’re lacking that all-important restorative REM phase of sleep.

2. Loss of appetite

A loss of interest in food affects many people with postpartum depression, and this symptom deprives you of the nutrition needed to nurse your baby if you’re breastfeeding. Furthermore, you lose strength if you aren’t eating.

3. Mood challenges

Severe irritability and rage are frequently cited signs of postpartum depression. Intense anger that arises suddenly can feel scary. When you’re caring for a newborn, it’s essential to feel like your temper is under control. 

4. Being consumed with worry

It’s overwhelming to be responsible for the safety of this new, tiny being. There are many concerns to juggle, and anxiety can quickly take over, even about frightening things that aren’t likely to happen. Getting help is a kindness you can give yourself and your baby.

5. Issues bonding with your baby

This is one of the most painful postpartum depression symptoms since the mother-baby bond is something you look forward to.

With postpartum depression, you may feel distant from your baby or even resentful. Try to be forgiving of yourself because it doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby or that bonding is impossible. 

Getting postpartum depression treated promptly is essential to your well-being and positively impacts your relationship with your baby. We offer treatments that successfully address postpartum depression in new moms, including:

  • Counseling
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Hormonal therapy 

With care from Clarity Psychiatric Care, you can gain relief from postpartum depression’s grip and nurture a healthy relationship with your baby.

Call our Cherry Hill office at 856-428-1260 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carnall or Cristina Sertway or book online. For your convenience, we offer evening appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.