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What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after childbirth. About one in nine women experience postpartum depression. Many women have "baby blues" or feelings of sadness and fatigue after childbirth. Baby blues typically go away within a few weeks or months and don't interfere with your ability to care for your baby.

Postpartum depression is intense feelings of sadness or worthlessness that can make it hard for your to care for or bond with your newborn. It can come on anytime in the first few months after childbirth.

Postpartum Depression Causes

Any woman can get postpartum depression. Having a baby is an emotionally charged time in your life. You experience hormonal changes as well as stress and new responsibilities. You may be more at risk of developing postpartum depression if you:

  • Have a lot of other stress in your life
  • Don't have a lot of support from your spouse, family or friends
  • Have a sick or colicky baby
  • Have had depression before or during pregnancy

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can affect your recovery from childbirth, your connection with your baby and your overall happiness. However, it is a common issue for many new moms and treatment is available.

If you have thoughts of suicide or of harming your baby, call 911 or seek professional help immediately.

Postpartum Depression Care at Magee-Womens Hospital

Magee-Womens Hospital offers behavioral health services tailored to the needs of women at different stages in their lives. You can have a team environment of ob/gyns, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors. This ensures that your individual needs are met. For more information contact Magee-Womens Behavioral Health Services at 412-641-1238.

Symptoms and Treatment of Postpartum Depression