New Moms and Depression's Reach

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June 15, 2015 -- Having a baby can be both thrilling and exhausting. But with the hormone adjustments, sudden changes to their bodies, lack of sleep, and additional responsibilities, new moms can find themselves feeling down in the months after giving birth—sometimes referred to as the “Baby Blues.” If these feelings don’t go away, you may have postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is defined as moderate to severe depression experienced by a woman after giving birth. It may set in within the first few months of delivery or even up to as long as a year later. Symptoms frequently include feeling scared or panicky, not enjoying things you used to look forward to, and feeling unusually sad or anxious. In some cases, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby may occur.

If you experience these symptoms, you’re not alone. Research shows about one in five new moms suffers from postpartum depression. How do you know if you’re going through the baby blues or experiencing postpartum depression? Answer these questions to find out:

  • Do you feel sad for long periods? Are you crying a lot?
  • Do you have trouble eating or sleeping?
  • Do you feel helpless or alone?
  • Do you have trouble focusing or making decisions?
  • Do you have little interest in your baby?
  • Are you afraid of hurting yourself or the baby?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, speak to your physician and seek professional support.

In conjunction with your OB/GYN, Bingham Memorial’s licensed therapists work with people from all walks of life who need a little help, advice, and direction. You may be blessed with a beautiful baby and a supportive partner, but sometimes a professional perspective is necessary to help guide you through the depression.

Well-educated and highly-trained, our professional therapists often apply real-life experiences when giving advice and forming meaningful bonds with clients. They don’t tell someone what to do, but rather help guide the person in understanding and discovering what could make his or her relationships or situation better, or how to explore new paths in life.

Our therapists are trained to provide a process that helps people change for the better. And when someone is dealing with a loss, relationship issues, child rearing anxieties, anger, depression or any of the numerous issues that all of us can face, that’s when it’s time to turn to professional support.

If you think there are concerns in your life that could be helped by talking with a trained professional, you can reach out to Ben Douglas, a licensed clinical social worker at Bingham Memorial Hospital. He is always welcoming new patients in Blackfoot and Pocatello. To schedule an appointment or consultation, please call 782-2991.


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Return to Health Matters for Women, June 2015 Edition