Let’s Talk about Maternal Mental Health

While the month of May is observed for Mental Health Awareness, maternal mental health is often swept under the rug. It can be even more taboo to talk about than other mental health challenges. After all, a new baby has arrived and everyone should be happy, especially mom right? Read on to learn more about what Postpartum depression is and how common it is in mothers. Whether a person is having their first or fifth baby each experience is unique, and no one is immune to potential anxiety or depression.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression can happen and is common during and after pregnancy. Most of all, it is treatable. “If you think you have depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible,” While everyone feels sad from time to time, depression is different. It is a severe mood disorder and can last for several weeks or even months at a time. Symptoms vary from person to person. The symptoms will vary in intensity, length, and how often they occur.

Depression symptoms
  • Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
  • Emotions or thoughts of hopelessness or pessimism.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
  • Feelings of irritability or restlessness.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment
Postpartum depression is different from the baby blues

The CDC notes that postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby. CDC research shows that about 1 in 9 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression

The symptoms of postpartum depression similar to depression, but may also include:

  • Crying more often than usual.
  • Feelings of anger.
  • Withdrawing from loved ones.
  • Feeling distant from your baby.
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious.
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby.
  • Doubting your ability to care for your baby.
Seeking treatment starts with talking to your health care provider

Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support. If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.

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