Postpartum Depression

Some degree of sadness and feeling overwhelmed is a normal part of having a new baby, but when these feelings persist for a long time or get in the way of your day-to-day functioning, it can be helpful to seek mental health support.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a common mental health condition among women who have recently given birth, and it refers to persistent symptoms of depression that arrive after the baby’s birth and do not go away on their own.

These symptoms may also appear during pregnancy. Especially because of the dominant cultural narrative that new motherhood should be a time of happiness, many women experience shame and self-blame around postpartum depression.

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Prevalence of postpartum depression

Only 40% of women dealing with mental health challenges related to pregnancy and childbirth seek treatment.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression shares many of the same symptoms as other forms of depression, and clinically, postpartum depression is generally diagnosed as a variety of depressive disorder rather than categorized as its own distinct condition. The key factor is that symptoms must begin during pregnancy or within four weeks of the baby’s birth. Symptoms can vary widely, but some common indicators of postpartum depression include:

Aside from the symptoms of postpartum depression described above, you may also experience some of the following related conditions that sometimes stem from pregnancy and/or childbirth:

What to do if you’re experiencing postpartum depression

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression that seem to be related to your pregnancy or the birth of your child, you might consider the following options:

How to find a therapist for postpartum depression

Determine which therapy type appeals to you

There are a number of different recommended treatments for postpartum depression. A panel of experts recently reported that the following therapy types may be the most effective treatments for most women:

Some other common options include:

Find therapists specializing in postpartum depression near you

Find therapists who treat postpartum depression on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.