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1 in 7 pregnant and new mothers may experience depression or anxiety. New mothers may experience little sleep and new and increasing responsibilities that may cause stress and anxiety, all of which can lead to depression.
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms, seek help by contacting your healthcare provider.
Forty to 80% of all new mothers may experience the baby blues within the first 10 days following birth. While a new baby can bring immense joy to a family, families also experience stress, fatigue, and difficulty adjusting to a new routine and responsibilities. Many new mothers may have the baby blues after childbirth, which is a fairly normal occurrence that typically lasts less than two weeks.
Symptoms of Baby Blues include:
These symptoms do not interfere with functioning or infant care and are intermixed with feelings of happiness. These feelings are temporary and usually fade on their own within the first few weeks after birth.
If feelings of sadness, anxiety, and worry do not resolve within a few weeks, a mother may be experiencing postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorders that may require treatment.
Therapy can be an effective way to address the way parents are feeling, thinking, and acting. Women struggling with postpartum depression can benefit from learning new ways to cope with stress, and how to manage their feelings. Involving significant others (for example, spouses, family) in treatment can also help improve communication and enlist their support and help during difficult times. Counseling may be done on an individual basis, or may be offered in a group through a formal group therapy program.
Antidepressants may be effective in treating postpartum depression. For more information about medication use contact your healthcare provider.
Support groups can be helpful in a variety of ways, including:
In addition to therapy and/or medication, many men benefit from supplemental support such as:
It is always important to mention all treatments, whether prescribed or not, with your healthcare providers.
Massachusetts PSI Warm Line
Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention
Servicios de Emergencia Programa/Móvil de Intervención de Crisis - Emergency Services is available in 105 languages