Postpartum Depression Specialist

Washington Center for Women's and Children's Wellness (WCWCW) -  - Child, Adolescent, Women’s & Reproductive Psychiatry

Washington Center for Women's and Children's Wellness (WCWCW)

Child, Adolescent, Women’s & Reproductive Psychiatry located in Bethesda, MD, Baileys, VA, Miami, FL, & Ann Arbor, MI,

Pregnancy affects your body in many different ways, and you may experience emotional side effects that leave you feeling overwhelmingly sad and empty. At WCWCW, our board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrists and psychotherapists specialize in reproductive psychiatry. We understand postpartum depression and how it affects your emotional and mental well-being. We provide many innovative treatments to help you get relief from your symptoms. To schedule a postpartum depression consultation, call our office in Bethesda, Maryland, or request an appointment online today. 

Postpartum Depression Q & A

What is postpartum depression?

postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a serious mental health condition that can affect women after they give birth. It’s normal to feel sad and empty the first few days after having a baby, but if you continue to feel sad, empty, or hopeless for two or more weeks following the birth of your baby, you may have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is common and treatable.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Symptoms of postpartum depression can be difficult to differentiate from normal postpartum blues but the symptoms of postpartum depression are more  intense, last longer, and may eventually interfere with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin earlier ― during pregnancy ― or later — up to a year after birth.

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

When should I seek help for Postpartum Depression? 

If you're feeling depressed after your baby's birth, please know we are here to help  It's important to call as soon as possible if the signs and symptoms of depression have any of these features:

  • Symptoms don’t fade after two weeks
  • Are getting worse
  • Make it hard for you to care for your baby
  • Make it hard to complete everyday tasks
  • Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

How is postpartum depression treated?

Postpartum depression is often treated with psychotherapy (also called talk therapy or mental health counseling), medication, or both.

Psychotherapy. It may help to talk through your concerns with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Through therapy, you can find better ways to cope with your feelings, solve problems, set realistic goals and respond to situations in a positive way. Sometimes family or relationship therapy also helps.

Antidepressants. Your doctor may recommend an antidepressant. If you're breastfeeding, any medication you take will enter your breast milk. However, most antidepressants can be used during breastfeeding with little risk of side effects for your baby. Work with your doctor to weigh the potential risks and benefits of specific antidepressants.

With appropriate treatment, postpartum depression symptoms usually improve. In some cases, postpartum depression can continue, becoming chronic depression. It's important to continue treatment after you begin to feel better. Stopping treatment too early may lead to a relapse.

For expert compassionate postpartum depression care, call WCWCW or schedule an appointment online today.