Recognizing Postpartum Depression


Postpartum depression (PPD) is the term for any downswings in mood that women may suffer after giving birth. While a supportive partner and network of friends can help with normal depression, serious PPDs are hormonally induced and require a doctor's attention.

Mom Alert!

After weeks of sleep deprivation, it's normal to sometimes think that you could cheerfully strangle your partner for putting you in this position. But it could be a sign of a serious problem if you actually plan when and how to do it. All kidding aside, if you experience dark thoughts or fears that you can't seem to shake off, contact a psychiatrist immediately—you may have postpartum depression.

There is always some moodiness associated with having a newborn in your life because of the simple fact that you spend the early days and weeks suffering from sleep deprivation. And, as you've already seen, having a baby can bring out a lot of underlying issues and insecurities that you've never gotten around to addressing. This can lead to a temporary bout of depression caused by the new circumstances of your life. This is a very real, well-recognized condition, known as postpartum depression.

Proactive Possibilities

But there is another situation that is important to consider. When a woman gives birth her body is subject to tremendous hormonal changes. These changes can disrupt her system, resulting in a postpartum depression that will not work itself out over time. It is actually a very serious matter, and can have some very serious consequences if left undiagnosed and untreated.

For example, it is not uncommon for a marriage to split up if the mother suffers from undiagnosed, and therefore, untreated, postpartum depression. When the disorder is misunderstood or unacknowledged, it can put undue stress on the relationship between husband and wife. The mood swings can become extreme, so that the woman falls victim to rages and even delusions.

Postpartum depression is very real. It can lead to psychosis and has been sadly implicated in the deaths of newborns. People who've never experienced the condition often find it hard to understand what the sufferer is going through, but there are support groups and well-informed practitioners who have been educating the public.

More on: Postpartum

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motherhood © 1999 by Deborah Levine Herman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

Quick Polls

Q: Did you give up caffeine during pregnancy?






I cut back.

2379 Total votes cast.


Create Your Baby Registry with Target
Do you have everything you need to care for your new bundle of joy? Create your Target baby registry today!

Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary, especially if you're pregnant or trying to conceive. Learn what steps to take to protect yourself from Zika virus, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Where Should Newborns Sleep? Comparing Bassinets, Cradles & More
Where will your bundle of joy sleep when she comes home? Get shopping and safety tips for choosing a bassinet, play yard, or other crib alternative that will fit in your bedroom, per AAP guidelines.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2016
Want to see which baby girl names and boy names are hot in the U.S. right now? Check out these lists from the S.S.A., and click on the names to see their meanings!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2016  Sandbox Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.