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Published on April 08, 2014

Feeling Down After Delivery?

April 8, 2014

Mother and baby crying togetherFor many women, the transition to motherhood includes feelings of sadness that may last several days. If gloominess persists for more than two weeks, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends speaking with your primary care physician about determining whether you have postpartum depression.

“Symptoms of postpartum depression are more serious than the ‘baby blues’” says Karyn Erkfritz, PhD, KishHealth System child clinical psychologist. “Women should consult their physician or a behavioral health professional if they experience intense feelings of sadness, crying, fatigue, loss of appetite, or difficulting concentrating. They should seek immediate help if they contemplate harming themselves or the baby.”

Counseling or medications may provide relief. In the meantime, be forthcoming with your spouse about your feelings and the support you need. Lean on family and friends for help with chores and errands. Parenting is new to you, and it’s hard, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

“You would never tell your friend who just had a baby that she should have a spotless home and cookies baking in the oven,” says Emily Dienst, KishHealth System licensed professional counselor. “Give yourself a break from your own demands.”

KishHealth System Behavioral Health Services offers a number of individual and group therapies. Find out more at www.kishbehavioralhealth.org.

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