Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression

Fifteen to twenty percent (15-20%) of women will experience something more serious associated with pregnancy or childbirth: clinical depression.  A woman who has depression during pregnancy or after childbirth may experience several of these symptoms:

• Persistent sadness
• Hopelessness
• Lack of pleasure in things that normally bring her joy
• Changes in appetite
• Difficulty sleeping (even when the opportunity is present) or sleeping too much
• Extreme fatigue not explained by sleep pattern changes due to caring for a baby
• Feelings of inadequacy or guilt
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
• Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
• Feeling physically agitated or slowed

Other signs and symptoms include:

• Anxiety or panic
• Difficulty bonding with her baby
• Feeling regret for having a baby
• Thinking her family would be better off without her
• Fearful of leaving the house or being alone
• Isolating herself from friends and family
• Unexplained anger or irritability
• Feeling fearful that she might harm herself or her baby
• Difficulty doing daily tasks and activities
• Feeling “out of control”

Learn more about perinatal depression HERE.