Postpartum depression (PPD) occurs in as many as 3 million women every year. It is defined as depression, anxiety, sadness and/or exhaustion that occurs after childbirth. A study published in the New York Times in 2014 suggests that PPD can occur as early as before birth. Postpartum depression is different than "baby blues". "Baby blues" affect around 80% of new mothers and is caused by the normal exhaustion and sleep-deprivation that comes with new babies and typically goes away in a few weeks after a routine has been established and the mother and her baby have a healthy bond. With postpartum depression, those feelings of sadness and anxiety are more extreme and interfere with every day life and the mother's ability to care for herself or her baby.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
- Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when her baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
- Eating too little or too much
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
- Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
- Thinking about harming herself or her baby.
If you or a loved one suffers from any of these symptoms during pregnancy or at any time during the first year after birth, please contact a healthcare provider. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS IN CRISIS AND NEEDS IMMEDIATE HELP, CALL 911.
Moms Supporting Moms Group
For mothers experiencing postpartum depression. Nursing infants welcome.
Questions: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or 717.397.9722
2nd & 4th Fridays
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Community Services Building: Room B-107
630 Janet Avenue, Lancaster, Pa. 17601
A non-profit organization that focuses on raising awareness, fighting stigma and providing peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness.