This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that pediatricians screen mothers of newborns for postpartum depression. According to the AAP, “Estimated rates of depression among pregnant and postpartum women can range between 5 percent and 25 percent.”
Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks.
Symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability and anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lack of joy in life
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Severe mood swing
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
Education alone isn’t enough. As women, we need to talk openly about PPD, reassure others that it’s nothing they’ve done wrong and encourage each other to get help if necessary. Have you been diagnosed with postpartum depression? Have you been helped or helped others who have battled PPD? Share your story, help us dispel the myths about PPD.