Studies show that postpartum depression affects 15-40% of all new moms. It can start soon after birth or come on months later. And, 50% of dads whose partners get PPD experience depression as well. That makes PPD a national epidemic!

Postpartum Depression Symptoms 

When you think of depression, you usually think of sadness and crying…but PPD is different in many ways. The common symptoms are anxiety, fear and intrusive thoughts (or hearing voices). You may constantly check on your baby worried that something happened and feel like you can’t help your baby or might even be a harm to your baby.

Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression

Often, moms just get a mild case of the “baby blues,” but sometimes they become deeply depressed (and in rare cases can develop psychosis). As a sleep-deprived mom, hearing your baby’s crying shrieks may trigger a flood of painful memories (like being teased or yelled at). It’s common for past feelings of embarrassment and anger to resurface during this stressful time. If you are feeling overwhelmed and think you might be depressed, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

What Causes PPD?

Some people have thought that PPD is a result of hormonal imbalances…but moms of adopted children can have PPD and so can dads…so PPD can’t only be caused by hormonal shifts.

 
The 3 Biggest Triggers of PPD

  • Baby’s persistent crying
  • Parental exhaustion
  • Unsupportive partners

Treatment and Help for Postpartum Depression

Thankfully, the 5 S’s work on all 3 triggers directly: They calm a baby’s cries, help parents get more sleep and can help engage an unsupportive spouse (In fact, dads are epic baby calmers!)
 
Don’t be afraid to turn to others for support! Ask a neighbor or friend to pick up groceries or walk the dog so you have less to worry about. And, technologies like the SNOO Smart Sleeper give your whole family more rest. You can also hire a nanny, doula or night nurse for support at home.

How to Prevent Postpartum Depression 

Bottom line: Do what feels right to you, but don’t let yourself be in this alone. You need help—and deserve it, too!

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