Pre- and Postpartum Depression

Pre and post partum depression

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center offers a support group for pre- and postpartum mothers who are experiencing depression. As members of your healthcare team, Behavioral Health Counselors will work with you to address your needs.

The following information was provided courtesy of the National Mental Health Association

The birth of a child can be a joyous and exciting time, but following childbirth, some women may experience postpartum disorders that can adversely affect a woman's mental health. Mothers commonly experience what is called "the baby blues," mood swings that are the result of high hormonal fluctuations that occur during and immediately after childbirth. They may also experience more serious mental health disorders such as postpartum depression, birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder or a severe but rare condition called postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum blues are very common, occurring in up to 80 percent of new mothers. Characterized by mood swings, postpartum blues or "baby blues" are normal reactions that many mothers experience following childbirth. The onset of postpartum blues usually occurs three to five days after delivery, and should subside as hormone levels begin to stabilize. Symptoms generally do not last for more than a few weeks. If a person continues to experience moods swings or feelings of depression for more than two weeks after childbirth, the problem may be more serious.

Symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as those for clinical depression and may include specific fears such as excessive preoccupation with the child's health or intrusive thoughts of harming the baby. Given the stressful circumstances of caring for a new baby, it is understandable that new mothers may be more tired, irritable and anxious. But when a new mother is experiencing drastic changes in motivation, appetite or mood she should seek the help of a mental health professional. For a clinical diagnosis of postpartum depression to be made, symptoms of depression generally must be present for more than two weeks following childbirth to distinguish them from postpartum blues.

The Maternal Depression Support Network consists of a group of women who are feeling depressed at a time of life when they expected to feel wonderful. The meetings are a place to share feelings and get needed support. If you are feeling down, agitated or out-of-control come find out that you are not alone!

Meetings are held at the Behavioral Health Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, 201 Lyons Avenue, Newark, NJ 07112.

For more information or to schedule an initial appointment, please call: Andrea Goldberg, LCSW 973-926-7289. Most health insurance plans provide coverage.