Though pregnancy and having a new baby at home is supposed to be a joyous time, it is fairly common for women to experience baby blues in the days following childbirth. In fact, up to 80% of women report experiencing some symptoms of baby blues such as crying spells, mood swings, irritability and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or changes in eating habits. They are likely related to rapid hormonal changes that occur after delivery along with being tired and a little anxious about caring for your little one. Not to worry – they usually resolve on their own within a couple of weeks. Having the support of your loved ones and getting plenty of rest is helpful in resolving the symptoms of baby blues. When symptoms continue past the first couple of weeks after birth or they are more severe or intense, you may be experiencing postpartum depression and will need some additional help to feel better. Postpartum depression can also show up a bit later in the months following childbirth and is more common in women who have a history of depression.
Signs of postpartum depression may include:
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Feeling sad, depressed, or crying a lot
- Having no energy
- Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart beating fast and feeling like it is skipping beats),
numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
- Not being able to sleep, being very tired, or both
- Not being able to eat and weight loss
- Overeating and weight gain
- Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
- Being overly worried about the baby
- Not having any interest in the baby
- Feeling worthless and guilty
- Having no interest or getting no pleasure from activities like sex and socializing
- Thoughts of harming your baby or yourself (This is an emergency – seek immediate help)
You are not alone. If you or someone you know is experiencing postpartum depression and needs help, please talk to your healthcare provider and call the Broward Healthy Start Coalition for guidance on receiving help at (954) 563-7583.
Maternal Depression Programs in Broward County
The Maternal/Child Nurturing Program (MCNP) at Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies serves pregnant women and mothers with children ages 0-1 who are experiencing maternal depression. Contact Program Manager: (954) 765-0550 x331.
The MOMS Program (Mothers Overcoming Maternal Stress) at Memorial Healthcare System is for women who experience depression or exhibit stress-related risk factors. Contact Program Manager: Michelle Hagues (954) 276-9812 or firstname.lastname@example.org