Do I Have Postpartum Depression?

Shortly after the birth of a baby (typically between one week and one month) some new parents experience postpartum depression. The birthing parent's partner may also suffer. Due to this disorder and the debilitating affects, the child may also endure the consequences.

Do I have postpartum depression?

Postpartum Depression symptoms may include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Low energy
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Crying episodes
  • Irritability

The cause for PPD is still unclear, but doctors believe it is a combination of hormones and sleep deprivation.

What causes postpartum depression?

Doctors have compiled these possible risk factors:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Family history of depression
  • Psychological stress
  • Complications of childbirth
  • Lack of support
  • Drug use disorder

Most newly delivered parents experience a brief period of worry or sadness after delivery, called the Baby Blues, however PPD should be suspected when symptoms are severe and last beyond two weeks. Postpartum depression usually begins between two weeks to a month after delivery. Recent studies have shown that fifty percent of postpartum depressive episodes actually begin prior to delivery; diagnosed as "depressive disorder with peripartum onset". PPD may last several months or even a year. Postpartum Depression has also found its way four years after the birth of the child; likely linking school separation anxiety. Postpartum depression can also occur in people who have suffered a miscarriage or other pregnancy-related loss; such as stillbirth, and abortion.

As a doula, we recognize the signs and symptoms of our client's. We have built trust with the families we work for and we have colleagues in every realm of The medical profession. Having frank conversations and providing contact information of those who can help is very important. Sometimes we can speak directly to who is affected and sometimes we need to have a more candid conversation with a partner to provide support. These postpartum disorders can often be managed with medication and therapy, but they can lead to terrible things if left undone. It is never within the scope of a doula to diagnose, but we absolutely can help our clients seek the professional care they need. Doulas will facilitate the bonding relationship between the child and parent, knowing that this bond plays a key factor in the health and development. A doula may do this by encouraging skin to skin contact, co-bathing, teaching the benefits of reading, singing and talking to the baby. 

If a person knows they may be susceptible to such postpartum disorders, they can be proactive by talking about it and hiring a postpartum doula to help out once the baby is born. Overnight doulas are a wonderful blessing! If sleep deprivation and lack of support are common culprits, Postpartum & Newborn Doulas can help you get the rest you need to feel better. 


REAL Doula trains and certifies birth doulas, postpartum & newborn doulas and childbirth educators. You can search for one HERE. If you've ever considered becoming a doula, check out what they have to offer. Online courses are paired with hands-on workshops with accredited learning objectives providing you the tools to launch your career to new heights. #upupandaway #realdoula #beomeadoula