Postpartum Depression

Support for Postpartum Depression

Loyola Medicine provides comprehensive care for women who are experiencing postpartum depression and postpartum blues. These conditions can occur throughout pregnancy and up to one year after childbirth. About 16 percent of women in the U.S. suffer postpartum depression after the birth of a child. Detecting childbirth-related depression in the early stages can help women seek the care they need to protect themselves and their infants.

What is Postpartum Blues?

Postpartum blues, sometimes referred to as the “baby blues,” is a common experience that often will dissipate in a few weeks. Here are some symptoms:

  • Feeling sad and weepy, or anxious and moody
  • Being angry at the baby, your partner or other children for no reason
  • Unexpected crying
  • Decreased concentration
  • Trouble eating, sleeping and making decisions
  • Questioning your ability to care for your baby

What is Postpartum Depression?

If you think you are experiencing more than the blues, then you may have postpartum depression (a form of clinical depression).

  • A feeling of the blues that doesn’t go away in a few weeks and keeps getting worse
  • Strong feelings of depression and anger that begin to surface one to two months after delivery
  • Feelings of sadness, doubt, guilt, helplessness or hopelessness that seem to increase each week
  • Mood swings
  • Emotions that disrupt your normal activities or interfere with your responsibilities
  • Insomnia or the desire to sleep all the time
  • Crying constantly or frequently
  • Significant changes in appetite
  • Loss of interest in doing things that used to bring you pleasure
  • Extreme anxiety or worry about the baby or a lack of interest in or feelings for the baby
  • Feeling that you are unable to love your infant or your family
  • Panic attacks or a feeling of anxiety and fear of being left alone with the baby
  • Fear of harming the baby
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

If you have any of the signs of postpartum blues or depression, it is very important that you get help. Call to make an appointment right away at 888-584-7888.

Loyola’s Postpartum Depression Group meets at 10 am every first and third Wednesday at the Loyola Center for Health at Oakbrook Terrace, 1S224 Summit Ave. The session is led by a certified registered nurse with a master’s in nursing and special training in perinatal mood disorders. If you are interested in attending this group, please call 708-216-4300.

Loyola Medicine screens women during pregnancy and after delivery to identify women in need. Mental health services, such as medication management and individual therapy by licensed social workers and counselors, are provided by our compassionate team. In addition, couples counseling is available.

If you think you may need help, seek help. Support is also available 24 hours a day across the U.S. at 866-364-MOMS/866-364-6667.

Learn more about postpartum blues and depression at Postpartum Support International/Postpartum Alliance of Illinois at www.ppdil.org or the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov.