Postpartum depression (PPD) creates feelings of anxiety and depression. PPD also hinders a mother’s ability to care for her child after birth. Understanding the symptoms of postpartum depression can help you determine whether you need to seek medical or social support.
Do I have PPD?
There is no single universal way doctors diagnose postpartum depression. However, various signs, symptoms, and assessments can confirm if you are suffering from PPD and reveal the severity of your condition. If you are wondering if you might have postpartum depression, learn ways you can get diagnosed.
How PPD is Diagnosed
Can PPD be Treated?
Postpartum Depression is a treatable women’s health condition. A combination of therapy and antidepressant medications can be useful in helping you manage your PPD symptoms and overcome your condition. With treatment, you can make it through this challenging period and fight back against PPD.
Learn About PPD Treatments
How Can I Get Support?
Postpartum depression is a confusing and often debilitating disease. Treatment can help you manage symptoms, but emotional support options (like support groups) or psychotherapy (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can help you cope with the mental and emotional turmoil that comes with PPD.
Learn About PPD Support
About Postpartum Depression (PPD)
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mood disorder that affects new moms after childbirth. Postpartum depression creates feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. PPD is more common amongst women with a family history of depression or pre-existing mental illness, such as chronic depression or bipolar disorder.
Learn About PPD
What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression has physical and emotional causes. The drastic changes in hormone levels a mother experiences following childbirth, birth complications/traumatic birth experiences, and genetic predisposition are common causes of PPD. Preexisting mental disorders can also lead to an increased risk of postpartum depression.
Causes and Risks of PPD
Signs & Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from postpartum depression, it is helpful to learn about the signs and symptoms. Common side effects of PPD include changes in personality, mood, and behaviors—from mood swings and trouble sleeping to major depression and suicidal thoughts.
Signs & Symptoms of PPD
Types of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression does not always equate to sadness. There are multiple types of perinatal depression with varying degrees of severity, such as postpartum panic disorder, or postpartum psychosis. Each type has unique risk factors, signs, symptoms, treatments, and progressions.
More About PPD Types
Support for Family Members and Friends
It can be extremely difficult to watch someone struggle with postpartum depression. You may feel shocked, confused, or helpless. These are natural reactions when the mental and emotional well-being of your loved one is at stake. Learn how you can help your loved one and get the support you need.
It can be extremely painful for partners to watch their loved one struggle with postpartum depression. Numerous support resources are available to spouses and partners who are struggling to cope with their loved one’s condition.
More Info For Partners
Parents may feel overwhelmed as they work to determine the best way to help their daughter who is struggling with PPD. Parents can show support by offering to help, staying in touch, and more.
More Info For Parents
Siblings may find it difficult to cope if their sister is experiencing postpartum depression. Understanding the disorder and knowing the resources available to mothers can help siblings offer support.
More Info For Siblings
Treatment and Recovery
Postpartum depression treatments generally include a combination of therapy with a psychiatrist or psychologist and prescription medications such as antidepressants. Learn about available treatment options and long-term recovery.
Therapy is just one aspect of effective postpartum depression recovery treatment. Therapy is essential to recovery because it helps mothers address and manage the symptoms and underlying causes of their condition.
More About Therapy
Medications significantly help reduce and manage postpartum depression symptoms. Antidepressants are often prescribed by a licensed health care provider to treat PPD. Many antidepressant medications are safe to use even while breastfeeding.
More About Medication
It is important to remember that recovering from postpartum depression takes time, but it is almost always possible. Long-term recovery may involve ongoing treatment, family support, coping skills, and regular self-care.
More About Recovery
Psychologist vs Psychiatrist
Both psychologists and psychiatrists provide mental health support such as talk therapy to mothers struggling with PPD. However, the approaches and limitations of these mental health professionals are different. Learn about the pros and cons of both.
Psychologists vs Psychiatrists
PostpartumDepression.org was founded and inspired by Chris and Jenna Carberg. In just two short days following the birth of their daughter Elsie, Chris began to see changes in his wife’s mood and behavior. Following a serious postpartum depression diagnosis, the couple has made it their mission to encourage women and educate families.
All website content has been reviewed by Dr. Kimberly Langdon, and we regularly make updates to provide the newest information about postpartum depression, anxiety, panic, and psychosis.
Quote from Gwyneth Paltrow, Actress
“When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth. Instead, I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life.”