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Health Conditions

Post-partum Depression

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About one in ten women become depressed during pregnancy and about half of them have post-partum depression after the baby's birth. If you or someone you know is depressed, help is available. In New York City, you can call the following numbers to find out about how to get help:

For emergency help:

  • 1-800-LifeNet (English)
    (1-800-543-3638)
  • 1-877-Ayudese (Spanish)
    (1-877-298-3373)
  • 1-877-990-8585 (Asian)
  • 1-212-982-5284 (TTY)

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please call 911

Call 311 for information about free and low-cost services and hotlines in New York City.

Are mood changes common after childbirth?
After having a baby, many women can experience changes in their mood. One minute they may feel happy, the next minute they may start to cry. They may feel a little depressed, have a hard time concentrating, lose their appetite or find that they can't sleep well even when the baby is asleep.

If you're a new mother and have any of these symptoms, you may have what are called the "baby blues." "The blues" are considered a normal part of early motherhood and usually go away within 10 days after delivery. However, some women may have worse symptoms or symptoms that last longer. This is called "postpartum depression." Postpartum depression affects 10-15% of women any time from a month to a year after childbirth.

Some symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
  • Crying a lot
  • Having no energy or motivation
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • Feeling worthless and guilty
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart beating fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
  • Being afraid of hurting the baby or oneself
  • Not having any interest in the baby.

Resources

Some of this material has been excerpted from material developed by the US Dept. of Health & Human Services


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