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Are you feeling sad or depressed?Do you feel overwhelmed?Do you feel more irritable or angry than usual?Are you having trouble bonding with your baby?Do you feel anxious or panicky?Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
Any of these could be symptoms of a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, sometimes called The Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression or Maternal Mental Health Disorders. Perinatal refers to the time you are pregnant through the baby’s first birthday. Perinatal depression is more than just the Baby Blues.
If you have perinatal depression you are not alone, and you are not to blame. With support and treatment, you will get better.
Reaching out for help is the first step.
Depression and anxiety are the most common complications of pregnancy. In Oregon, one in four new moms feels depressed or anxious during or after pregnancy. This can make it hard for moms to take care of themselves, bond with their babies and relate to others.
Many new moms feel weepy and anxious during the first week or two after giving birth. This is called “baby blues” and usually goes away with rest, support and time.
If your symptoms last more than two weeks, are disturbing, or get in the way of your daily life, call your healthcare provider or reach out for help.
Learn more about perinatal mood disorder topics like:
Perinatal depression or anxiety can affect any woman – regardless of age, race, income, culture, or education. However, family history, previous health or mental health problems, and stressful life circumstances can increase a woman’s chances of having perinatal depression or anxiety.
Are any of these statements true for you?
It’s hard for me to ask for help. I’ve had trouble with hormones and moods, especially before my period. I was depressed or anxious after my last baby or during my pregnancy. I’ve been depressed or anxious in the past. My mother, sister, or aunt was depressed after her baby was born. Sometimes I don’t need to sleep, have lots of ideas, and it’s hard to slow down. My family is far away and I don’t have many friends nearby. I don’t have the money, food or housing I need.
If you checked any of the above boxes, you may be more likely to have depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after your baby is born. Sometimes it can be hard to know if you should ask for help. If you have any concerns, it is a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider now. He or she can help you watch for symptoms, and make a plan to take care of yourself and get the support you need during pregnancy and postpartum.
Download A Guide to Understanding Perinatal Depression and AnxietyTake a quick depression self-assessment
Only a trained health care or mental health professional can tell you whether you have Perinatal Depression or Anxiety. However, the following checklist can help you know whether you have some of the common symptoms.
Are you feeling…?
Do you have…?
**If you have the symptoms in red print, you may have a serious condition called psychosis. This is an emergency. See your doctor right away.
Sometimes family and friends notice your symptoms of depression before you do. Love and support can help but may not be enough. If your symptoms do not go away within 2 weeks, you should see a healthcare provider or counselor for treatment. When you get the right treatment, you will feel better.
As a new mom you deserve extra care and support – for you and your new baby.Taking a few minutes each day to look after your own needs and take a break from being a mother can reduce your stress levels and recharge your batteries.
Remember, taking care of your child also means taking good care of yourself.
What you can do if you feel depressed or anxious:
Tools for self-care:
Websites offering support and resources for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety:
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