The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing a lot of anxiety to pregnant women and new moms. Find out what to do if you are not feeling well.
For most women, having a baby brings joy and happiness. While
others may feel sad or moody the first few days after childbirth. This is
common and is often referred to as the baby blues. About 4 in 5 new moms (80 percent) have baby
Baby blues can happen 2 to 3 days after you have your baby
and can last up to 2 weeks. They usually go away on their own, and you don’t
need any treatment. If you have sad feelings that last longer than 2 weeks,
tell your health care provider. She may want to check you for a more serious
condition called postpartum
depression (also called
PPD can happen any time after childbirth, although it usually starts during the first three weeks. PPD is a medical condition and it requires medical treatment to get better.
PPD is not your
fault. You didn’t do anything to cause PPD. It doesn’t mean you are a bad
person or a bad mom.
What causes PPD?
We’re not sure what exactly causes PPD but it can happen to
any woman after having a baby. Certain things increase the chances to have PPD:
- You had signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy,
for example, feelings of sadness that last for more than 2 weeks
- You have a history of depression or other mental
had a very difficult pregnancy or birth, including having a baby in the
had a pregnancy loss
have unequal life conditions like money problems, having no access to
medical care, chronic stress due to racism, living in an unsafe
been physically, mentally or sexually abuse. For example, having problems
with your partner like domestic violence (also called intimate partner
violence or IPV)
How do I know I have
You may have PPD if you have five or more of the
signs below and they last longer than 2 weeks.
Changes in your
• Feeling depressed most of the day every day
• Feeling shame, guilt or like a failure
• Feeling panicky or scared a lot of the time
• Having severe mood swings
Changes in your everyday
• Having little interest in things you usually like to do
• Feeling tired all the time
• Eating a lot more or a lot less than is normal for you
• Gaining or losing weight
• Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
• Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
Changes in how you
think about yourself or your baby:
• Having trouble bonding with your baby
• Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby
• Thinking about killing yourself
If you’re worried about hurting yourself or your baby, call
emergency services at 911 right away.
What can you do?
If you think you may have PPD, call your health care
provider. Your provider may suggest certain treatments such as counseling,
support groups, and medicines. Medicines to treat PPD include antidepressants
and estrogen. If you’re taking medicine for PPD don’t stop without your
provider’s OK. Take your medicine for as long as your provider prescribes it.
PPD is a medical condition that can get better with
treatment so it is very important to tell your doctor or another health care
provider if you have any signs. The earlier you get treatment, the sooner you
can feel better and start to enjoy being a mom.