I ran across the information below from a resource page on the CDC website for Depression & PPD of Women of reproductive age. I think the descriptions are very clear and concise so I wanted to share the page with you. This is excellent information to share with new moms or anyone you feel has recently changed their behavior and seems to have the symptoms listed below. When a woman (or man) is in a crisis, it is important to act. Its time to butt in.
Also please find this Printable Fact Sheet about mental health in women of reproductive age from the CDC.
What is depression?
Many women experience it. Symptoms include:
- A low or sad mood.
- Loss of interest in fun activities.
- Changes in eating, sleep, and energy.
- Problems in thinking, concentrating, and making decisions.
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, or guilt.
- Thoughts that life is not worth living.
When many of these symptoms occur together and last for more than a week or two at a time, this is depression.
Postpartum depression occurs after having a baby.
Symptoms include the above but also include:
- Trouble sleeping when your baby sleeps (more than the lack of sleep new moms usually get).
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Having scary or negative thoughts about the baby, like thinking someone will take your baby away or hurt your baby.
- Worrying that you will hurt the baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mom, or ashamed that you cannot care for your baby.
According to a recent CDC survey, 11% to 18% of women reported having frequent postpartum depressive symptoms.
Being a Mom is hard.
For some, the journey to becoming a mom is really hard too.
Often, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or the birth of the baby can increase the risk for depression. You may have heard of PPD, but many women don’t know that depression sometimes happens with other events, such as losing a baby or having trouble getting pregnant.
Did you know women’s reproductive experiences could be related to depression?
Having a hard time getting pregnant: Depression affects many women who experience infertility.
Having twins or triplets: Mothers of multiples have a greater risk of developing depression compared to women who give birth to just one baby.
Losing a baby: Women who experience miscarriage (losing a baby early in pregnancy), stillbirth (losing the baby late in pregnancy), or death of a newborn are more likely to experience depression.
Having a baby as a teen: Teen moms are more likely than older moms to have postpartum depression.
Having premature labor and delivery. These mothers have a significantly higher risk for depression.
Having a baby who is different: Mom’s risk for depression increases if the baby has a birth defect or disability.
Pregnancy and birth complications: Some studies have shown an increased risk for depression among women who experienced complications and hospitalization during pregnancy or an emergency C-section.
Having a baby or infant hospitalized: This can cause depression as well as stress and anxiety.
That sounds like me.
But how do I know if what I’m experiencing it? What should I do?
Depression is common. If you are worried about the way you have been feeling, it is important to speak with a doctor and tell him or her about your concerns.
If I don’t do anything about my depression, will it eventually go away on its own?
It is possible that it could eventually go away without help. It could also get worse, instead of better. There are effective treatments that may include medication or talking with a trained therapist. The best way to deal with it is to see a doctor or a counselor. The earlier you seek help, the better you will do.
If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, tell someone who can help immediately.
- Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help or ask a friend or family member to help you do these things.
- Call this toll-free, 24-hour hotline to talk to a trained counselor National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- TTY: 1-800-799-4889.
- Don’t be alone.
- Don’t leave another person alone if they are in crisis.