Postpartum Depression and Anxiety:

While many women experience mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 20% of women experience and suffer from more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help you recover and with the right help, especially with a therapist who specializes in treating postpartum symptoms, you can fully recover.

Postpartum symptoms might include the following:

  1. Lack of interest in the baby
  2. Crying or feelings of sadness
  3. Feeling of guilt, shame or hopelessness
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed
  5. Feelings of anger towards spouse and your baby
  6. Appetite and sleep disturbances
  7. Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself
  8. Feeling overwhelmed
  9. Mood swings
  10. Constant worry
  11. Racing thoughts
  12. Inability to sit still
  13. Disturbances of sleep and appetite
  14. Feeling that something bad is going to happen
  15. Physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness or even hot flashes
  16. Difficulty concentrating
  17. Heart palpitations

Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder will occur in approximately 9% of women who give birth. This may occur due to a trauma that happens during delivery. Some examples are:

  1. Unplanned C-section
  2. Baby going to the NICU
  3. Women who have previously experienced a trauma such as sexual abuse
  4. Feelings of powerlessness, poor communication or lack of support during the delivery
  5. Women who have a severe physical complication or injury related to the pregnancy or delivery

Some women will also develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) during their pregnancy or postpartum. Many women will begin to fear heights, water and sharp objects, tunnels, etc. Women with postpartum OCD with likely have intrusive thoughts of harming themselves or their baby along with tremendous guilt and shame about these thoughts. Working with a therapist that specializes in postpartum depression and anxiety will help you recover and regain control of your thoughts and actions.