Depression: You’re Not Alone

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Depressed pregnant women

Having a baby can be a wonderful event in life. It can also be a very difficult time. Caring for a baby requires a lot of work with very little sleep. It's normal to feel stress and worry. But, if you’re feeling sad or blue and it’s getting in the way of your daily activities or doesn’t go away, it could be a sign of depression.

Admitting you might be depressed can be hard for women because they think having a baby should be a happy time. If you find yourself feeling sad or depressed during pregnancy, you’re not alone.  At least 1 out of 3 pregnant women have a problem with depression. New moms can also experience depression. And moms who have had depression before may be more likely to get it again. 

If a woman experiences sadness after having her baby, it's called post-partum depression. Its symptoms are like other types of depression 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 bad thoughts about your 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.

If you find that you are feeling very down after childbirth, do not think of it as "just the baby blues." Take our short depression screening quiz and talk to your doctor or other health professional to find out if you might be experiencing depression.

Although dealing with depression can be challenging, women with depression can still successfully quit smoking. And it’s worth it! Use our Quit Guide to quit smoking today!

*Note: This information does not take the place of speaking with a doctor or other health professional.

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