What You Need to Know About Post-Partum Depression (PPD)

Eileen Bailey Apr 28th, 2014 (updated Jun 11th, 2015)
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Baby blues and PPD are not the same thing
Baby blues and PPD are not the same thing

In the few weeks after giving birth, your hormones fluctuate, you aren’t getting enough sleep, and you are overwhelmed. You might feel teary, high levels of stress, tired and have mood swings. But with PPD, the symptoms are much more serious. Symptoms can begin shortly after childbirth or not start for several months. Your symptoms may include a change in appetite, fatigue, irritability, hopelessness, anxiety, insomnia and frequent crying. 

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PPD does not go away on its own
PPD does not go away on its own

You may be told, “It's normal, it will go away once you get some sleep,” “You’ll be fine,” or “You just need to get out of the house.” The fact is, PPD often doesn’t go away on its own and when untreated can create long-term problems. If your symptoms are severe and you don’t have interest in your baby, have thoughts of harming your baby or feel hopeless about the future, talk with a medical professional.

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You can have PPD even if you don’t cry all the time
You can have PPD even if you don’t cry all the time

One of the myths about PPD is that women with PPD cry all day, every day. While some women do frequently cry, not all women do. Some feel sad, hopeless, anxious and depressed without frequently bouts of crying. 

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Having PPD does not mean you are going to hurt your child
Having PPD does not mean you are going to hurt your child

We hear in the news about women with PPD who have hurt or killed their child. Women with PPD don’t hurt their children. Another disorder, called postpartum psychosis, has a risk of harming children. There is more of a risk of suicide or self-harm from depression with PPD. 

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Most importantly, PPD does not make you a bad mother
Most importantly, PPD does not make you a bad mother

Sometimes, PPD causes you to lose interest in your baby, making you feel disconnected. These are common feelings in new moms with PPD. It doesn’t mean you are a bad mother or that you won’t ever feel the close mother/child bond.  One of the symptoms of PPD is feeling like your situation is never going to change. With treatment, you will get better and you will enjoy your child.