A lot of women feel sad, anxious, or weepy after having a baby. Some women, about one in seven, will feel miserable, hopeless, panicky, and worthless. Instead of the feelings going away after a few days, they can last for weeks.
This is called post-partum depression (PPD). PPD is a mood disorder caused by shifting hormones. It isn’t caused by anything you’ve done. Having PPD doesn’t mean you’re weak, a bad person, or a bad mother.
If you think you’re experiencing PPD, the best thing you can do is ask for help. PPD can get worse the longer you wait to get treatment. Call your doctor, or seek help from a mental health professional. If you’re a CHPW member, you don’t need a referral to see a mental health provider. Talk openly to your partner, friends, and family. Join a group for other new moms so you can see that you’re not alone.
PPD can make it harder to take care of your baby or yourself. It can even make you think about hurting yourself or your baby. If you’re having those thoughts, put your baby in a safe place, like their crib, and call a friend, family member, or helpline.
PPD is treatable. Remember that if you’re experiencing PPD, it’s not your fault. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll feel better.
National Hopeline Network
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: LifeLine