Postpartum Depression after Infertility: How to Recognize the Signs
Though this blog is mostly focused on how to take care of yourself before and during pregnancy, we want to take a moment to focus on something important for all new moms: the signs of postpartum depression. At the Center for Reproductive Care, we want to make sure our patients are prepared for life when their newborn comes because we know the journey that it has taken to get you there.
Even though you’ve fought for, prayed for, cried for, injected yourself with fertility meds countless times for, and maybe undergone round after round of IVF for this pregnancy, you are still at risk for postpartum depression once this child arrives. Furthermore, women who undergo fertility treatments are up to four times more likely to experience symptoms of postpartum depression. It’s important, therefore, to arm oneself with the tools to identify postpartum symptoms and tackle them as soon as possible so you can focus on your newborn and your new role as a parent.
Postpartum depression is a condition that can affect women after childbirth. Some women have feelings of extreme anxiety and sadness, detachment from their newborn, inability to sleep, anger or rage, or even thoughts as serious as harming herself or her baby. It is important to note that women can experience postpartum depression even if their newborn is the result of a gestational surrogate or adoption.
It’s important to have a system of support in place to help once the baby arrives. Do you have a therapist that you’ve established care with? Do you have support from either friends and family once the baby arrives? Once your baby is born, it’s helpful to create some type of structure to have in place to make time for yourself during this new and overwhelming time.
Only a healthcare provider can fully diagnose a patient with postpartum depression, but that often doesn’t occur until the six-week checkup. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms before your six-week checkup, you should call your healthcare provider as soon as possible to be seen and evaluated. Once diagnosed, both therapy and the added option of medication can help alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression and get you back to feeling like yourself.
Know this – admitting that you need help and getting that help is a sign of strength and one of the most selfless things you can do as a new parent. Taking that first step to getting the help you need gets you on the track to make positive changes that will have a big impact on your life with your new baby.