Maternal Depression

Though pregnancy and having a new baby at home is supposed to be a joyous time.

Baby Blues

Though pregnancy and having a new baby at home is supposed to be a joyous time, it is common for women to experience baby blues in the days following childbirth. In fact, up to 80% of women report experiencing some symptoms of baby blues such as crying spells, mood swings, irritability and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or changes in eating habits.  They are likely related to rapid hormonal changes that occur after delivery along with being tired and a little anxious about caring for your little one.  Not to worry – they usually resolve on their own within a couple of weeks. Having the support of your loved ones and getting plenty of rest is helpful in resolving the symptoms of baby blues. When symptoms continue past the first couple of weeks after birth or they are more severe or intense, you may be experiencing postpartum depression and will need some additional help to feel better. Postpartum depression can also show up a bit later in the months following childbirth and is more common in women who have a history of depression.

Signs of postpartum depression may include:

  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Feeling sad, depressed, or crying a lot
  • Having no energy
  • Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart beating fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
  • Not being able to sleep, being very tired, or both
  • Not being able to eat and weight loss
  • Overeating and weight gain
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • Being overly worried about the baby
  • Not having any interest in the baby
  • Feeling worthless and guilty
  • Having no interest or getting no pleasure from activities like sex and socializing
  • Thoughts of harming your baby or yourself (This is an emergency – seek immediate help)

You are not alone. If you or someone you know is experiencing postpartum depression and needs help, please talk to your healthcare provider and call Connect to talk to someone and get some help at (954) 567-7174.

Additional Resources

MOMS (Mothers Overcoming Maternal Stress) is a program designed to address risk factors associated with maternal emotional distress, enhance bonding and attachment between mother and child, and improve overall family functioning utilizing best practice clinical and parenting modalities delivered in-home and in group settings. For more information on the MOMS programs in Broward County or for assistance in coping with Maternal Depression you can contact:

South Broward County                        

Memorial Healthcare System                    

Gloria Villalobos, (954) 214-4737              

gvillalobos@mhs.net                             

Central & North Broward County

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition

Sari Cohen, 954-765-0550 ext. 331

scohen@hmhbbroward.org

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