Understanding and Supporting Pre/Postpartum Depression
Depression During and After Pregnancy
Q: What is depression?
A: Depression is more than just feeling “blue” or “down in the dumps” for a few days. It’s a serious illness that involves the brain. With depression, sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings don’t go away and interfere with day-to-day life and routines. These feelings can be mild to severe. The good news is that most people with depression get better with treatment.
Q: How common is depression during and after pregnancy?
A: Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. About 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression.
Q: How do I know if I have depression?
A: When you are pregnant or after you have a baby, you may be depressed and not know it. Some normal changes during and after pregnancy can cause symptoms similar to those of depression. But if you have any of the following symptoms of depression for more than 2 weeks, call your doctor:
• Feeling restless or moody
• Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
• Crying a lot • Having no energy or motivation
• Eating too little or too much
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Having trouble focusing or making decisions
• Having memory problems
• Feeling worthless and guilty
• Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
• Withdrawing from friends and family
• Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away Your doctor can figure out if your symptoms are caused by depression or something else.
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