Perinatal & Postpartum Depression
Are you experiencing low moods, decreased energy, or a feeling of hopelessness? You’ve been told having a baby should be the best time of your life—and it’s not? You may be experiencing perinatal depression. Statistics show 1 in 5 pregnant women will experience depression and 1 in 10 will experience postpartum depression. Often referred to as the “baby blues”, depression can occur during or after pregnancy with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Although perinatal or postpartum depression does not take the same form for every woman, all of the symptoms can be equally distressing and often leave the woman feeling ashamed, guilty and isolated.
Symptoms of perinatal and postpartum depression include:
• hopelessness, sadness, or irritability
• feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
• thoughts or fearfulness of harming yourself or your baby
• fearfulness of being left alone
• extreme mood changes
• crying for no apparent reason
• a general lack of interest or over concern for your baby
• a general loss of interest in activities
• decreased energy and motivation
• difficulty sleeping or feeling restless
• loss of appetite
• feelings of wanting to “run away”
What happens if Perinatal or Postpartum Depression is untreated?
Perinatal or postpartum depression is a clinical depression that when left untreated, can last for months, or even years in some cases. It interferes with a woman’s ability to relate to family members and friends, to work, to maintain her health, and to parent her children. Fortunately, there is a high success rate for effective treatments.
For women facing perinatal and postpartum depression, the Perinatal Depression Program at Mercy’s Pre-Birth Place offers comprehensive care. Every woman is unique, and the treatment for depression is tailored to her needs. Some women may take medications, and some may go to therapy sessions with a psychiatrist. Others may do both. For many, support groups can be an important part of healing. Mercy offers a monthly support group—“You are not Alone”—that gives women the opportunity to offer and receive support from other women experiencing perinatal or postpartum depression. Whether you are pregnant or have already given birth, mildly or severely depressed, the Perinatal Depression Program will help find the right treatment to fit your needs and help you live well again as quickly as possible.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of perinatal and postpartum depression, do not suffer in silence. Talk with your health care provider today and share your concerns. Reaching out for proper help is the first step toward recovery. You are not alone; help is available.
Getting the care you need
Getting the care you need is as easy as obtaining a referral or prescription from your health care provider and scheduling your first visit with the Perinatal Depression Program at the Mercy Pre-Birth Place by calling 312.567.6606. Self referrals are also accepted; however please check with your insurance carrier to find out if pre-authorization or a referral from your primary care provider is required to access care.
To learn more about the Perinatal Depression Program at Mercy, call 312.567.2600.