By Kristin Lasseter, MD
Before reading this article, I just want to note that postpartum mental illness often looks different in different people. This article should not be used to diagnose yourself or anyone else, rather, it should be used as a tool for signs to look out for. It may be worth reaching out to a mental health professional to discuss the items below in more detail.
This list is a gathering of the most common symptoms I hear from patients who are suffering emotionally or having a lot of anxiety in the postpartum period. I want to put this list out there, because depression and anxiety after having a baby can look very different from other types of depression and anxiety. Also, I want more people to recognize the signs, because it’s not always easy to know what’s normal and what’s not, especially when you’re in the throes of surviving parenthood. It is so important to get help for symptoms though, since more and more research is showing vast detrimental effects depression and anxiety in a parent can have on the development of a child - both physically and mentally. These symptoms can show up during pregnancy too, and if it’s happening during pregnancy, it often means it will get worse after delivery. If you or a loved one is currently pregnant, make sure to look into natural ways to prevent postpartum mental illness. So let’s get started on what to look out for:
If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, consider chatting with someone at National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, either online or by calling 1-800-273-8255. If you think you may be suffering from mental illness in pregnancy or postpartum, it may be helpful to talk to someone at Postpartum Support International by calling 1-800-944-4773 or texting them at 503-894-9453.
Here’s a helpful infographic from momlovesbest.com
October 26, 2019