Postpartum Depression

Facing the Facts about Postpartum Depression

 by Carrie Welter, LCSW

Did you recently give birth to your baby and are you feeling down? Many pregnant woman hear about Postpartum Depression (PPD) briefly in a child birth class or their doctors hand them a pamphlet at a check-up. However, there are many misconceptions about PPD.

1. Myth: Postpartum Depression is rare.
Fact: 1 in 7 women experience symptoms of anxiety and depression during pregnancy and postpartum. While many women experience mild changes in mood following the birth of a child, some women experience more significant ongoing symptoms.

2. Myth: Women with Postpartum Depression cry a lot and are sad.
Fact: Women who suffer from postpartum challenges experience emotional pain in different ways. Symptoms of Postpartum Depression can vary from feeling overwhelmed, sadness, rageful, anxious, guilty, fearful, exhausted, experience appetite or sleep disturbances, and mood swings. Women with PPD could experience suicidal thoughts.

3. Myth: PPD will start right away after the child is born.
Fact: The “baby blues” are different than postpartum depression. The “baby blues” tend to last anywhere from two to three weeks after child birth before subsiding. Women who have experienced symptoms for over three weeks should contact their primary care provider. While most women who have PPD experience symptoms in the first 4-6 weeks following childbirth, women can experience it in the first 12 months after childbirth, or earlier during pregnancy.

4. Myth: Postpartum Depression is somehow your fault.
Fact: Postpartum Depression is not your fault, it is a biochemical illness. Postpartum Depression is treatable with medication and psychotherapy which can make a difference to improve mood and change your outlook. With the proper treatment, women recover.

5. Myth: PPD only affects women of a certain background.
Fact: Women of all education levels, socioeconomic, cultural, race and religious backgrounds have been impacted by PPD.

Help is available now! Talk to your primary care provider as soon as possible if you think you may be experiencing PPD. 

Psychology Specialists in Champaign is offering a support group for women experiencing PPD starting in June 2017. Individual therapy is also available on an ongoing basis. 
For more information about our workshop call 217-693-6072

Resources:

  • Bennett, Shoshana S., Ph.D. Indman, Pec, Ed.D. MFT. (2006). Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treatment Prenatal and Postpartum Depression. Moodsw 
  • Press. www.Postpartum.net