Postpartum depression is a term used to describe a variety of emotional problems that can affect any woman during pregnancy or within the first year after delivery. Women who experience postpartum depression may feel bewildered and confused by having sad feelings when they “should” be feeling happy, and those feelings may interfere with bonding between mother and child and overall child development.
Symptoms of postpartum depression range from mild “baby blues” to severe depression. The “baby blues” typically occur within the first two to three weeks following delivery and usually resolve within a week or two without intervention. Although the symptoms are distressing, they typically do not affect the mother’s ability to function and care for herself or her child.
Mothers with more severe depressive symptoms may be unable to provide care for themselves or their children. They may be at risk of suicide, self-harm or harm to the infant. Severe postpartum depression is considered a crisis that requires immediate medical help and intervention.
If You Suffer From Postpartum Depression
- Call our behavioral health hotline. One-on-one professional support for women (and family members) suffering from postpartum depression is available at Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center. Call the Atlantic Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline at 973-540-0100.
- Join a support group. Consider attending our New Beginnings Postpartum Support Group for moms experiencing depression. Classes are held at Morristown Medical Center, Auditorium A. To register, please call 973-971-6791.
- Ask family and friends for support. People who can help are all around you. Look for caring, sympathetic listeners: your partner or someone in your partner’s family; someone in your own family; a close friend; a health care provider or nurse practitioner; a therapist or counselor; a social worker; your minister, priest or rabbi; a new mothers' group sponsored by your church, temple, or a local hospital; a local postpartum depression support group or one of the national postpartum depression support groups.
PPD Hope Helpline
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Perinatal Mood Disorders Helpline