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Postpartum depression

Helping you through the
“baby blues”

As a new mother, it can be hard to meet the demands of everyday life and maintain a healthy balance; however, it’s important that you make time to take care of yourself.

Increased anxiety and sadness are common in a new mom and can be caused by many things including rapid hormone change, fatigue, the physical and emotional stress of giving birth and sleep deprivation. These are very normal feelings, but they can sometimes build to an unhealthy level. In fact, 80 percent of women experience the “baby blues” within the first week after delivering. One in five women will experience a more serious postpartum mood disorder.

Here are some things to keep in mind about postpartum mood disorders:

  • "Baby blues" and postpartum mood disorders are biochemical illnesses that you cannot prevent. These feelings are not your fault.
  • "Baby blues" and postpartum depression may not develop immediately.
  • Mothers need to be mothered, too. You must take care of yourself as well as your baby.
  • You are a good mom. Taking steps to get better shows how much you care about your family.

This survey may help you to determine if what you are feeling is postpartum mood disorder. Can you answer "yes" to any of these questions?

During the past week or two:

  • I have been unable to laugh or see the funny side of situations.
  • I have not looked forward to events or situations I usually enjoy.
  • I have unnecessarily blamed myself when things went wrong.
  • I have been anxious or worried for no reason.
  • I have been scared or panicked for no reason.
  • I have felt sad or miserable.
  • I have been unhappy to the point that it has made me cry.
  • The thought of harming myself, my baby or others has occurred to me.

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, make an appointment with your Novant Health doctor. With help, you can get better and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.

If you have had thoughts of harming yourself, your baby or others, seek medical attention immediately.