Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Postpartum depression, or PPD, affects 15-20% of new mothers and can begin gradually or very suddenly at any point during the first year after a woman has given birth. Women who have experienced depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder before or during pregnancy, and women who have experienced a traumatic labor and delivery may be at a higher risk for developing PPD. Postpartum depression can feel very scary and overwhelming and many women feel a tremendous sense of shame and guilt for having these feelings, especially if infertility is an issue. For this reason, few women actually seek help because they fear they will be judged harshly or that their child will be taken from them. PPD effects everyone in the family, including the baby, so it is essential that women get help. Medication, individual, and group therapy are typically recommended. Symptoms include, but are not limited to the following:
– excessive worry or anxiety
– irritability
– feeling overwhelmed
– feeling sad
– feeling guilty
– hopelessness
– difficulty sleeping
– excessive fatigue
– feeling uneasy
– indifference toward baby
– loss of concentration
– loss of interest
– feeling isolated or alone
– changes in appetite

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a set of 10 screening questions that can indicate whether you have symptoms that are common in women with depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the year following the birth of a child. This is not intended to provide a diagnosis – only trained health professionals should do this. Click here to answer the 10 questions and send the results to us for evaluation.