Call our Mom's Line for help.
Family Time Support Group
Giving birth is transformative. Eighty percent of women experience pregnancy and birth as positive. Gradually these women adjust to the new physical and emotional demands of around the clock motherhood.
For 20 percent of women, it's not that way at all. Life's not fine. Although healing physically, many women find themselves on an emotional journey they never expected. Not feeling like themselves anymore, they move through the postpartum experience feeling increasingly overwhelmed, exhausted, inadequate, anxious, sad, confused, angry – even terrified.
Sleep deprived and desperate to cope, these new moms begin to feel despair or panic as they try to hide the turmoil brewing inside. What these women don't know is that anxiety, depression, panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder are the many ways that postpartum depression expresses itself in postpartum women. It is the most common complication of childbirth for women. It is painful and debilitating and it does not get better on its own.
|LINDA HUELKE, LCPC
What you should also know is that postpartum depression and anxiety is extremely treatable through a combination of supportive therapy and, in some cases, medication that is safe to take for mother and baby. Read more in our online health library:
Get the help you need.
If you are one of the 20 percent of women experiencing these symptoms, what you're experiencing is not a failure of you as a mother; rather it's the symptoms of a very treatable disease that has a very real biological basis. Here is how you can get help:
- Call the Mom's Line: Edward also provides a phone line dedicated to women, or anyone concerned about a woman, who may be experiencing signs or symptoms of post-partum depression. Call our Mom's Line at (630) 527-7294.
- Nurturing Mom: A support group for post-partum depression and anxiety
The birth of a baby can trigger powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. But it can also result in something you might not expect – depression and/or anxiety. The Nurturing Mom support group will meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 11:45 am, immediately following Cradle Talk (a weekly support group designed for new first-time parents and their newborns). The group meets at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church across from the Edward Hospital ER. Babies are welcome. No registration necessary. You may call the Cradle Talk line at (630) 527-3957 for directions.
For counselors specializing in postpartum depression & anxiety, contact the following:
Linden Oaks Referral Line:
Fatima Ali, MD. Link to profile.
1751 So. Naperville Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60189
Linda Huelke-Pfleger, M.S., LCPC Link to profile.
1801 N. Mill Street, Suite C
Naperville, Illinois 60563
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I've been feeling wonderful ever since I brought my baby home a month ago. Is this good feeling going to go away and lead to depression?
A: Most likely, no. However, postpartum anxiety and depression has been known to develop anytime within a year after giving birth. This is because there are multiple factors that influence its development including hormonal changes and life stressors. Sometimes it is a culmination of factors over time that result in its development. What is important to note is if you feel sad, anxious, overwhelmed or any of the other symptoms that won't go away after two weeks, you should consult with your healthcare provider. A good reference book is Postpartum Depression Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Overcoming the Most Common Complication after Childbirth, by Joyce Venis and Suzanne McCloskey.
Q: What about the baby's dad? Can he get postpartum depression, too?
A: New fathers, especially first-timers, may also have feelings of sadness or anxiety, especially about feeling left out when all of the attention is focused on the mother and baby. They also eventually suffer from lack of sleep and exhaustion as they care for the baby and try to manage work as well. Now is a good time to talk to each other about being new parents. Try to spend some time alone together, even if it's just for an hour. Many parents try to plan a regular date night so they can be together without the baby. Keep in mind that dads can get depressed too, and should seek help if they have any of the symptoms of postpartum depression. You may visit http://www.postpartummen.com/ for more information.
Q: Is it safe to take antidepressants while breast-feeding?
A: You should talk with your doctor. There is considerable research regarding this question. Thus far, it is well established that specific antidepressants, although showing up in breast milk, do not have a negative effect on the developing infant. Conversely, there is a large body of literature that shows strong negative effects of untreated maternal depression on the developing infant particularly as it effects bonding.Some women benefit from therapy and don't need to take medication, while others really need medical treatment. Make sure you find a treatment that works for you.