As new parents you are likely experiencing a number of feelings — both highs and lows. This is very normal, and as many as eighty percent of new mothers (and some new fathers) suffer from what we call the “the baby blues.” Symptoms are short lived, ranging from a few hours to a few days, and typically involve feelings of isolation, headache, tearfulness, hypochondriasis (i.e. unsupported bodily worries), irritability, sleeplessness and impaired concentration. The baby blues is not the same thing as postpartum depression, nor is the baby blues a definite precursor for postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression that affects new mothers (and sometimes new fathers) after birth and within the first year postpartum. The condition is surprisingly common with studies showing that about 5 to 9 percent of women will develop postpartum depression; however, less than one in five of these women will seek professional help.
PPD symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
Guilt * Emptiness * Sadness * Feeling inadequate in taking care of the baby * Hopelessness * Low self-esteem * Social withdrawal * Becoming easily frustrated * A feeling of being overwhelmed * Inability to be comforted * Sleep and eating disturbance Decreased sex drive * Spells of anger towards others * Impaired concentration and speech and writing * Low or no energy * Increased anxiety or panic attacks * Exhaustion
Ashburn Psychological Services has a highly trained team of pediatric, child, adult and geriatric PhD and MD specialists. If you have any questions or concerns regarding postpartum depression for yourself or your spouse as new parents, one of our well trained professionals will speak to you by phone. If needed, that clinician will then schedule a consultation with the most appropriate team member to develop a treatment plan that is right for you and/or your spouse. Treatment at Ashburn Psychological Services may involve individual therapy, a postpartum group, a parenting group, parent education and guidance meetings or parent-infant bonding and attachment work with a licensed clinical psychologist, or a medication consult with one of our board certified adult psychiatrists.
We are here to help, and we invite you to call our office manager, Renee Rider at (703) 723-2999 to speak with one of our clinician’s.
Ashburn Psychological Services now has offices in Ashburn and Leesburg to better serve you.
Dr. Michael Oberschneider
Founder and Director