According to Governor Snyder’s declaration of the month of May as Postpartum Depression Month, as well as Mental Health Month, roughly 20 percent of families with newborns, or 23,000 Michigan women and their families, are affected by postpartum depression each year. Many more cases go unreported or undetected.
Postpartum or perinatal mood changes can be difficult to detect. Becoming a mom is a big change, and some emotional changes are expected to go along with the transition. Some indicators of a more serious problem can include:
- Sleep changes unrelated to your baby’s sleep pattern
- Feelings of guilt or inadequacy
- Obsessive, morbid or self-harmful thoughts
- Crying, or feelings of anxiety without something to be sad or anxious over
- Changes in appetite
Perinatal mood changes are common, but your health care provider can’t help if they don’t know you need help. It’s important to speak up if you need help. New mothers have a lot of work to do, and it can be hard to pause and take care of yourself – but “it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup.” Taking care of yourself will help you take better care of your family.
We’re committed to breaking down some of the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. It is possible to feel joy that your baby is here, but simultaneously be struggling with your mood. One does not exclude the other. If you feel like you’re struggling, please reach out for help.