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Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a mood disorder much like Major Depressive Disorder, but with symptoms beginning within the first 12 months after child-birth, and persisting for two weeks or more. Around 80% of women experience a depressive episode, which is mild in nature, during the postpartum period. However, up to 15% of women can experience a severe, profound, and life- threatening depression, which requires an evaluation by a health care provider.

The time after child-birth is one of joy, excitement, stress and many new responsibilities and expectations. Even when your baby is healthy and your support system is strong, certain feelings may become difficult to deal with or seem unmanageable.


Signs and symptoms to watch for are: depressed mood, anxiety, decreased energy, excessive fatigue (even after adequate rest), anger, feelings of guilt, and inability to bond with the new baby. This is not to be confused with postpartum blues. This disorder is not as severe, comes and goes, and is not persistent daily.

Complication from having PPD are an increased risk of suicide and infanticide. If you have feelings of harming yourself or your child, please get help immediately by dialing 911. Another complication associated with PPD is inadequate bonding with the child, which may impact child development.

Occasionally, there may be hormonal cause for PPD, due to hypothyroidism, and you should visit your primary care provider and/or your obstetrician for a proper evaluation. If your depression is not linked to metabolic or hormonal cause, and you or someone you love are experiencing signs of postpartum depression, TRU Health and Wellness can offer help.


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