postpartum depression

The Weight of Depression

Sunset at the beach off East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz is reflected off the wet sand. Despite the dark clouds hanging over the scene, there is still intense beauty and the awe and hope that it brings.

Postpartum Depression


Having a baby can be one of the most thrilling and happiest events in your life triggering powerful emotions. It can also be hard and stressful. Exacerbated by changes in hormone levels, lack of sleep and radical changes in daily routines, many new moms experience the baby blues — a mild, brief bout of depression — for a few days or weeks after giving birth.

Some new mothers experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. Experienced by 1 out of 8 women after delivery, postpartum depression is not a character flaw or weakness, it is simply a complication of giving birth that can sometimes occur.

If you have postpartum depression, prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms and enjoy your new baby.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms and Treatment

The signs and symptoms of baby blues, which last only a few days or weeks, include:

  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Impatience
  • Irritability
  • Crying for no reason
  • Decreased Concentration
  • Trouble Sleeping

Postpartum depression, which can appear to be the baby blues at first, is more intense and long lasting and interfere with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks.  Symptoms include:

  • Sadness, feel like crying a lot
  • Loss of appetite, poor eating habits
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping well
  • Restlessness, irritability or anger
  • Overwhelming fatigue, little or no energy
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Overly worried about baby or not concerned
  • Little interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Sever mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions
  • Thought of harming yourself or your baby