What are signs of postpartum depression?

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Having a baby can bring up a wide range of emotions — joy, excitement, fear, or anxiety. Life after bringing a child into the world can also bring depression — for both parents.

Most new parents often experience “baby blues,” with symptoms including mood swings, crying, irritability, distractedness, and problems sleeping. The “baby blues” can start a couple days after childbirth and last for up to two weeks. These feelings are short-term results of major hormonal changes and a lack of sleep following a new baby.  

Postpartum depression occurs when the “baby blues” stick around longer than two weeks and even up to months after having a new child. The long-term and more intense symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Frequent crying without knowing why
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Difficulty or lack of interest in bonding with your baby
  • Difficulty concentrating or carrying out day-to-day tasks
  • Extreme sleeping or appetite – either too much or none at all
  • Withdrawing from interactions with your family or friends
  • Feeling hopeless or apathetic about the future
  • Overwhelming fear that you are a bad parent
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your child

If you are trying to figure out if you are experiencing the “baby blues” or more serious postpartum depression, read this article by Houston therapist Lindsay Pearce. 

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Mental Health Match can connect you with experienced professionals who specialize in helping new parents and people with postpartum depression.

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