The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information for women who are concerned they might be suffering from postpartum depression, or depression that occurs after having a baby.
Clinical depression in general is marked by a persistent low or sad mood, often accompanied by problems in thinking; a loss of interest in fun activities; and changes in eating, sleep, and energy.
The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms for depression, according to the CDC, but they include additional warning signs. According to the CDC, 11 percent to 18 percent of women report having frequent symptoms of postpartum depression, or depression that occurs after childbirth.
While depression is treatable, several studies have linked the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, with potentially dangerous heart and lung defects in babies born to women who take the drugs while pregnant. SSRI antidepressants include Prozac and Zoloft.
The CDC lists the following as potential symptoms of postpartum depression:
- Trouble sleeping when your baby sleeps (more than the lack of sleep new mothers typically get).
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Having scary or negative thoughts about the baby, like thinking someone will take your baby away or hurt your baby.
- Worrying that you will hurt the baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mom, or ashamed that you cannot care for your baby.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.
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