Post-partum depression – also called Perinatal depression – refers to depression that occurs during pregnancy or following childbirth. Up to 70 percent of all new mothers experience the “baby blues,” a short-lasting condition that does not interfere with daily activities and does not require medical attention. Symptoms of this emotional condition may include crying for no reason, irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. These symptoms last a week or two and generally resolve on their own without treatment.
Peripartum depression is different from the “baby blues” in that it is emotionally and physically debilitating and may continue for months or more. Getting treatment is important for both the mother and the child. In fact, Post-partum depression can make it challenging for new mothers to bond with their babies and cope with the demands of motherhood. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of post-partum depression, such as feeling hopeless, emotionless and empty, losing interest in activities, a change in appetite, and difficulty to sleep.
If you or your loved one have been experiencing these symptoms, know that help—and hope—are more than possible. The first step is getting support.