Sunday, November 25, 2012
For many women, pregnancy and having a baby is the most wonderful time of their lives. But other women struggle with depression during pregnancy or after their baby is born. In fact, about thirteen percent of pregnant women and new moms have depression.
Your body goes through changes that can affect your mood. Caring for a baby takes a lot of work and you might not get much sleep. Feeling some stress and worry is normal. But if you find yourself often feeling sad or blue, and if it’s getting in the way of your daily activities, then it could be a sign of depression.
Depression after pregnancy is called post-partum depression. Post-partum depression is similar to other types of depression but also may 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 your baby
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mom or ashamed that you cannot care for your baby
If you’re feeling very down after childbirth, do not think of it as "just the baby blues." Take a quick depression screening quiz and talk to your doctor or other health professional to find out if you might be experiencing depression.