Emotional Health

Depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Symptoms can start during pregnancy or following the birth of your baby. 1 in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy. Some women are more at risk. If you are dealing with poverty, have a history of depression or anxiety, have a lot of stress in your life, or have had a major life stress, have a thyroid imbalance, or a form of diabetes you are at an increased risk for depression during pregnancy and postpartum.1

The symptoms are different for everyone. It can be hard to distinguish between “normal” changes that take place during pregnancy and signs of depression. Here are some things to ask yourself:2

  • Are you feeling angry or irritable?
  • Are you uninterested in your pregnancy?
  • Do you have disturbances in appetite and sleep?
  • Do you cry and feel sad?
  • Do you have feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness?
  • Have you lost interest, joy, or pleasure in the things you used to enjoy?

It is important to get help.

 

Getting early treatment for postpartum depression can speed your recovery.

  • Call your Healthcare Provider
  • Call the Maternal and Child Health Hotline 800-722-2295
  • Perinatal/Postpartum Depression Phone Support (608) 273-4724 (9am – 10 pm)
  • Madison Crisis Hotline: (608) 280-2600 (Available 24/7)
  • Milwaukee Crisis Hotline: (414) 257-7222 (Available 24/7)

 

Self Assessment

You can take a quiz called the ‘Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale.” It is not a diagnosis, but rather is a tool to assess yourself. You can use it during pregnancy or after your baby arrives. It is 10 questions long. Click here to take it.

 

Smoking and Depression

If you are a smoker, you should be on high alert. The 2004 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) showed that women who experienced postpartum depressive symptoms were almost twice as likely to resume smoking as women who did not experience any depressive symptoms.

 

More Information

  • Women’s Health.gov: Commonly asked questions about postpartum depression
  • Check out this blog: Heir to Blair, about a woman who became an internet hero after talking about her experiences with postpartum depression
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Free, confidential, available 24/7
  • Call your Provider
  • Call the Maternal and Child Health Hotline 800-722-2295
  • Perinatal/Postpartum Depression Phone Support (608) 273-4724 (9am – 10 pm)
  • Emergency Situations: (608) 280-2600

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1) www.postpartum.net
2) Postpartum Support International. www.postpartum.net