Signs of postpartum depression & anxiety

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No two women will experience PPD/A exactly the same. In fact, the symptoms can vary widely. Some mothers can’t stop crying, others never shed a tear. Some can’t find the energy to get out of bed; others can’t seem to slow down. What they all share is a feeling that “something isn’t right”.

 

 

If you experience several of the following, you may have PPD/A:

  • Feeling that something isn’t right
  • Feeling helpless or overwhelmed by everyday activities
  • Not bonding with baby or feeling resentment or lack of interest
  • Feeling angry or aggressive
  • Feeling numb or unable to feel emotions
  • Crying often, even when you don’t know why
  • Afraid to be alone
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Frightening, intrusive thoughts about you or baby getting hurt
  • Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or panic attacks
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Difficulty sleeping, even when you get the opportunity
  • Constantly worrying about baby
  • Feeling like you’re alone, or have no support
  • Feeling like you’re not good enough or are a ‘bad mom’

Risk Factors for postpartum depression & anxiety

Any new mom can get postpartum depression & anxiety, however, there are certain risk factors that will increase the likelihood. These can include:

  • A family history of depression and/or anxiety
  • Personal history of depression and/or anxiety
  • Personal history of childhood abuse
  • A traumatic birth experience
  • Having a baby that is sick, colicky or otherwise difficult
  • Problems with breastfeeding
  • Being a recent immigrant
  • Lacking a support system of family & close friends
  • Being a single parent
  • Having very high standards for yourself (perfectionism)

This checklist from Postpartum Progress may also be helpful to see if you might have PPD/A and provide a tool for talking about it with your healthcare provider.