About 10% of new mothers feel so overwhelmed with caring for a newborn that they begin to think they will never be able to cope. Being tired is normal for a new mom — lack of sleep is common — but feeling sad and hopeless is not normal. The following covers some of the symptoms and causes of postpartum depression that every parent should know about.

Sadness and Guilt

It’s normal to feel like you may not be the best mother in the world occasionally, but if you regularly burst into tears for no apparent reason and are beginning to regret becoming a parent, it may be the beginning of postpartum depression. It’s important to visit a doctor or healthcare provider as soon as you suspect you are experiencing postpartum depression because it is easier to treat if it is diagnosed early.

overwhelmed mother holding baby

Stressful Events

If, along with becoming a new mother, there have been exceptionally stressful events in your life, postpartum depression may not be too far behind. The death of a loved one, constantly fighting with your partner over small things, and feeling like you are not getting enough help from your family can stress you to the point that you start to sink into depression.

Being a New Father

New fathers may sometimes feel similar symptoms as new mothers. Often called paternal depression, fathers can experience anxiety and fatigue and be overwhelmed by the changes in their life that come with having a child to care for.

Young fathers who experience a change in the relationship with their partner or who may not have the best financial security are more susceptible to depression. These feelings in the father can have just as much negative effect on the newborn and partner relationship as a mother does.

Harming Yourself

The thought of harming yourself in some way is a serious symptom of postpartum depression. While it is rare, if you have these feelings, take them seriously and see your doctor immediately.

While it can be scary, postpartum depression can be treated. If any of the information above relates to you, it’s important to reach out to a healthcare provider like those at WFMC Health for assistance.

Do you have more questions about postpartum depression symptoms or treatment while pregnant in Salem OregonTalk to our staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!

This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.