Understanding Postpartum Depression

This video provides an overview of postpartum depression and resources available for support.

“Understanding Postpartum Depression” Transcript

    Understanding your feelings after giving birth.
    What is postpartum depression?
    Postpartum depression or PPD are strong feelings you might experience after having a baby. You can be very sad, nervous or tired. The strong feelings last for a long time such as more than two weeks. PPD can happen any time after having a baby. It can happen as early as 1 to 3 weeks after delivery.
    PPD happens to a lot of new moms. If you think you have PPD, tell your provider. Being in the NICU is stressful and can cause PPD. Be sure to talk to your baby’s medical team and social worker to find ways to lower your stress in the NICU. Remember, you didn’t do anything to cause PPD.
    If you think you may have PPD, see your health care provider right away. Your provider can be your obstetrician or OBGYN, your primary care provider or your main doctor, a mental health provider like a therapist or counselor, your baby’s health care team like your NICU social worker, nurse or doctor.
    Most families experience many different feelings when in the NICU. This is normal. You may feel very sad for not having the birth you planned or sad to see your baby in the NICU. Some signs of PPD include changes in feelings such as feeling sad most of the day or every day feeling nervous or scared more than usual or having mood swings. Also, changes in everyday life like not wanting to do things you used to like feeling tired all the time, eating more or a lot less than normal, sleeping too little or sleeping too much or having trouble thinking or making decisions also changes in how you think about yourself or your baby, such as having trouble bonding with your baby or thinking about hurting yourself or your baby when it comes to PPD.
    It is important to take action. There are people you can talk to about preventing PPD reach out to your provider if you have one or more of these, you have signs of depression, you’ve had depression or another mental health condition before you have worries or stresses in your life such as problems with money or or in the hospital like the NICU or you’ve been hurt or abused by your partner. This is also called intimate partner violence or IPV. Remember, your NICU team understands that moms with babies in the NICU can have PPD.
    Please reach out for help; all moms can do a free PPD screening. Your social worker will talk with you about this and provide more information. Remember, we are here to support you. If you’re thinking of hurting yourself or your baby, call emergency services at 911 for help. You can also reach out to NICU social workers and staff visit marchofdimes.org./PPD. Contact postpartum support international at www.postpartum.net or by calling 1-809-444-PPD.
    If you think you have postpartum depression, ask for help. Sometimes families avoid seeking help because they feel it may take time away from being with their baby, but just keep in mind, getting treatment for PPD can help you feel better and help you be able to care for your baby.