Recognizing Postpartum Depression: Speak up when you’re down

Recognizing Postpartum Depression: Speak up when you’re down


Highs & Lows, ups & downs the many moods of PPD:

Every new baby is one of a kind and so is every new mom. Some women seem to sail through pregnancy and the first days of motherhood joyfully. Others ride a roller coaster of emotions, feeling happy and excited one minute and lonely or tearful the next. Most of the time, feelings of sadness are mild and pass quickly but sometimes they are serious and don’t go away. The important thing is to understand the difference and to get help when it is needed.

Up to 80% of new mothers cry easily or feel stressed following the birth of a baby. These known as the “baby blues” usually go away in a couple of weeks. However, some women feel a heavy sadness that doesn’t go away. These women may have postpartum depression (PPD) or more rarely, a condition known as postpartum depression (PPD) or more rarely, a condition known as postpartum psychosis. A woman with one of these more serious problems may have difficulty bonding with her baby. She may feel that she is not a good mother. She may think that she doesn’t love her baby enough.

These feelings are upsetting. However, women need to know that treatment is available.

PPD: Temporary & Treatable:

Having a baby is a life change. PPD can affect any woman who:

*Is pregnant

*Has recently had a baby

*Has ended a pregnancy or has miscarried

*Has stopped breast-feeding

PPD can appear days or even months after childbirth. The warning signs are different for everyone but include:

*Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

*Changes in appetite-eating much more or much less

*Feeling irritable, angry or nervous

*Feeling exhausted

*Not enjoying life as much as in the past

*Lack of interest in the baby

*Lack of interest in friends and family

*Lack of interest in sex

*Feeling guilty or worthless

*Feeling hopeless

*Crying uncontrollably

*Feelings of being a bad mother

*Trouble concentrating

*Low energy

*Thoughts of harming the baby or herself

Family and friends may feel upset by these mood changes; in fact, they may notice that there is a problem even before the new mom does. They can help by being patient and supportive.

Love and support, however may not be enough. When symptoms last longer than two weeks or affect a woman’s ability to enjoy her daily life, loved ones should encourage the new mother to get help right away. Whether symptoms are mild or severe with proper treatment, anyone can recover from PPD.

Young & Older Urban & Suburban PPD can affect anyone:

No one is 100%  sure why postpartum depression happens but risk factors include:

*Change in the body hormone levels

*A difficult pregnancy

*A birth that did not go as planned

*Medical problems with the mother or baby

*Not getting enough sleep

*Feeling alone

*Loss of freedom

*Sudden changes in the home or work routines

*Personal or family history of depression

*Previous experience with PPD

*Not having enough support from family and friends

*High levels of stress

Although some women are more likely to experience depression than others, PPD can happen with any pregnancy or birth, even if a woman has had other babies without emotional problems. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can have PPD.

It is important to remember that PPD is no one’s fault and treatment is available.

Phone: 1-800-328-3838


When a woman has a baby…

1 woman in 10:

Experiences depression during pregnancy. These symptoms are like the baby blues but happen before the baby is born.

8 women in 10:

Experience the baby blues after giving birth. They may cry for no apparent reason, feel impatient, irritable, restless and anxious.

1 woman in 8:

Experience postpartum depression. A woman with PPD may feel sluggish, sad, confused, anxious, irritable, guilty and have difficulty remembering things. She may have trouble eating and sleeping. She may have fears of harming the baby or herself. Her moods might change from being very happy to very sad. She may feel out of control. She may want to avoid seeing people or talking about her feelings.

1 woman in 1000:

Experiences postpartum psychosis, which usually happens within the first three months after birth. This illness is rare and symptoms are very severe. A woman with psychosis does not know what is real and what is imagined. She may have hallucinations or delusions. She may not be able to sleep. Her actions may be unpredictable.

In New Jersey:

Between 11,000 and 16,000 women suffer from PPD every year.

Speak up when you’re down 1-800-328-3838.

If you think you or a loved one may have PPD:

*Talk about your feelings with people you trust.

*Tell your doctor

*Ask family and friends to help care for the baby

*Eat a healthy diet

*Exercise for more energy

*Join a PPD support group

*Seek treatment if feelings of unhappiness last longer than two weeks

*Call 1-800-328-3838 to find treatment services near your home (New Jersey residents)


Healthy feelings between a mother and her child are important for the baby’s physical and emotional growth. Waiting too long to treat PPD may result in long-lasting effects.

Healthcare providers and licensed counselors can help a women find the treatment that is best for her. This treatment includes the right therapy safe medication and support groups.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the NJSpeakup pamphlet and I give them full credit on the information. Please call them directly for more information on the program and where to help.


About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" ( 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
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1 Response to Recognizing Postpartum Depression: Speak up when you’re down

  1. jwatrel says:

    Please call NJ Speak Up directly for more information.

    Liked by 1 person

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