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Depression After Pregnancy

When To Seek Professional Help

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 15:55

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

It can be difficult to determine when to seek professional help, especially if a woman is only experiencing a mild case of the blues. But it is important to know the difference between a case of the baby blues that will resolve itself and ongoing postpartum depression. Through treatment, many women have rediscovered the joy of being a new mother.

The following guidelines can help new mothers and their spouses decide whether it's time to seek professional help:

  • A case of the baby blues is normal. But new mothers who are feeling down or sad should alert their doctors, in case symptoms of depression become extreme or last for more than three weeks.
  • Seek professional help if:
    • You are following your postpartum plan and your symptoms last for two or more weeks
    • Talking with friends, family, or your spouse does not help, or
    • The activities of daily living are totally overwhelming
  • Hospitalization is urgently needed if:
    • You are hearing voices
    • You have thoughts of hurting or killing yourself and/or your baby
    • You experience ideas or visions that seem unreal

Depression After Pregnancy