POST PARTUM DEPRESSION ASK and ACT. It’s the Right Thing to Do!
The Bottom Line-At least 10% of women experience Post Partum Depression: Thousands of our daughters, sisters and partners will experience Post Partum Depression sometime within the first year after giving birth.
Post Partum Depression (PPD) is not “the Baby Blues”: Post Partum Depression can happen any time in the first year after their child is born and has ongoing symptoms that make life very difficult. Baby Blues is more like a temporary “hormonal flush” that usually happens within two weeks of the birth, unlike PPD, it does not include persistent, scary thoughts.
Post Partum Depression Symptoms Include:
- Persistently feeling ashamed, overwhelmed or hopeless.
- Thinking “I just don’t feel like me”
- Someone saying “you are just not acting like yourself.”
- Thinking “something is wrong”
- Not wanting to be near the baby
- Feelings of intense panic or anxiety
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby
Call to Action for Loved Ones:
- Notice the warning signs: Pay close attention to the women in your life during the first year after they give birth. Listen to yourself for thoughts like “She isn’t acting like herself” or “What is wrong with her?” or “Why is she acting like that-she never did before?”
- Reach out to the mother: Start by asking gently, “You are not acting like yourself. Is something wrong?” Often this is all it takes for the mother to say what is in her heart-that something is not right.
- Never say something like, “Just snap out of it.” That would be like telling someone who has a broken leg, “Just get up and walk it off.”
- Don’t take “everything is fine” for an answer: Even if the mother says, “everything is fine”, if your gut is telling you that something is wrong, say “Let’s call your doctor’s office. I will feel better if you see your doctor and the doctor says everything is OK.”
- Do something immediately: “I think it is important that we call the doctor today.” Go to an ER if necessary-don’t let things get worse.
Don’t Wait-Get Help Today!
Perinatal Support International of Washington: 1-888-404-7763
© Parent Trust for Washington Children