Giving birth can bring forth a range of intense emotions. Hormone levels change drastically in the days following a birth, and the tiredness, anxiety, and stress over life with a baby causes most mothers to feel “baby blues” in the days following a birth. When those feelings persist, they can become postpartum depression, a type of mood disorder that impacts your emotional wellbeing and your ability to connect with and care for your baby.
Dr. Sehdev at Aware Behavioral Health is a Dallas psychiatrist who treats all types of depression in Dallas, Fort Worth, and beyond, including postpartum depression. For mothers experiencing the effects of depression, Dr. Sehdev provides support free of judgment that is dedicated to helping you be the best mother you can be for your new baby. Reach out to us at 888-677-4562 to schedule an appointment.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
In the days and weeks following birth, it is common to have mood swings, teariness, anxiety, and irritability. Some mothers have a decreased appetite and trouble sleeping apart from interruptions to sleep your baby can cause. You may feel overwhelmed with new responsibilities or be struggling with your identity and appearance post-birth.
These symptoms are often called “baby blues” and will last anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks. After two weeks, or if baby blues symptoms are severe, the cause of your emotional upset may be postpartum depression instead. In addition to baby blues symptoms, symptoms unique to postpartum depression include:
- Extreme mood swings or persistent feelings of emptiness.
- Trouble bonding with or caring for your baby.
- Frequent crying.
- Interacting less with family or friends.
- Feeling inadequate, guilty, or like a bad mother.
- Severe anger or irritability.
- Panic attacks or intense anxiety.
- Thinking about harming your baby or yourself, including suicide.
These symptoms can last for months if they are not treated, causing challenges during a time when you want to be mentally present to bond with your baby. If you have noticed these symptoms lasting beyond 2 weeks after giving birth or have symptoms that are preventing you from caring for your baby, Dr. Sehdev will discuss how you are feeling and determine if postpartum depression may be the cause.
Postpartum depression can occur after any birth, even if you have had children before without any depressive symptoms. In some cases, fathers can also have postpartum depression, especially if they already have a history of depression or other mood disorders.
Effective and Safe Postpartum Depression Treatments
As a mother with postpartum depression, you may feel unsure or embarrassed about your symptoms. People around you expressing joy and excitement over your baby can make your depression symptoms feel out of place, and you may worry that these feelings make you a bad mother.
In actuality, postpartum depression is common with more than 1 in 10 mothers getting a diagnosis. Dr. Sehdev takes every care to ensure you feel supported and heard, not judged, during treatment. Symptoms of depression are a natural response of your body, and we can utilize a variety of treatments and solutions to manage them.
Our treatment plans are built around your symptoms, individual needs, and any other mental health conditions you may live with, and can include:
- Medication Assisted Depression Treatments – There are several medications approved to treat depression in new mothers, and we can determine which will work for you. Because the physical health of you and your baby is a primary concern in addition to your mental health, we consider any risks if you are also breastfeeding.
- Talk Therapy – Psychotherapy provides an opportunity to discuss your concerns, and get help working through problems, developing coping mechanisms, and changing thought patterns to be more positive.
- Other Options – Having the support you need is a key part of preventing and improving symptoms of postpartum depression. If necessary, we can help you build strategies to get the support you need or find resources to help.
Whether you have just given birth or have been struggling with depression for months, or even years, we can start working with you on a treatment plan today. Use our contact form to let us know what mental health challenges you might be struggling with, or call us directly at 888-677-4562.