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It’s supposed to be the most joyful time of your life. Either you are pregnant, or you just had a baby. You are supposed to have the pregnancy glow; you are only supposed to feel gratitude because you are being blessed or were just blessed with a new life. Instead, some of the thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, emotional, extremely worried, having irrational thoughts that something may happen to your baby (or pregnancy) angry, having a difficult time attending to daily tasks and having daily or hourly crying spells. You may have prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety. It is important for you to know that you did nothing to cause this as there are many factors to perinatal and postpartum mental health, which makes this time so vulnerable. 



  

Some women are more at risk of developing postpartum depression/anxiety if you...   

* have had anxiety or depression in the past. 

*have had any mood disorders in the past. 

*have experienced postpartum depression or anxiety during a previous pregnancy. 

*have a history of depression or anxiety in the family. 

*experienced a life stressor while pregnant, or shortly after. 

*have limited support system. 

*have medical complications during pregnancy. 

*have had previous loss of pregnancy or loss of newborn or infant.

Here are some symptoms that may mean you are experiencing PPD/PPA

  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. 
  •  Feeling moody, irritable, restless.
  • Having a hard time sleeping (even when your child goes down for naps you are unable to relax); or sleeping too much.  
  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable (even talking on the phone to your friends).
  • Feeling easily overwhelmed by tasks.
  • Having crying spells for no real reason.
  • Experiencing anger or rage.
  • Not eating enough, or eating too much.
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding family and friends.
  • Having trouble bonding or forming attachment to your newborn.
  • Persistently doubting your ability to take care of your baby.
  • Feeling sad, trapped or hopeless.
  • Having thoughts about harming your baby.
  • Having thoughts about harming yourself.
  • Constantly worrying about something bad happening to your baby.
  • Fixating on reading articles about terrible things that can happen to a baby.


**It is important to note that some women may also experience symptoms of postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis**