Depression and Pregnancy

Depression & Pregnancy

The birth of a child is a major life-changing event for any family. New parents express feelings of joy and excitement. But for some parents, especially new mothers, this may also be a time of uncertainty, frustration and anxiety. 

Up to 80 percent of new mothers experience “baby blues” in the first few days following delivery. You may cry for no apparent reason, be impatient, irritable, restless, and/or anxious. These are normal postpartum emotions and usually disappear on their own.

If you experience the above symptoms constantly or intensely enough to interfere with your daily activities within a year of giving birth, you may have postpartum depression.

You may benefit from talking to someone, especially if you’re also experiencing the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion, memory loss or poor concentration
  • Exaggerated highs or lows
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Fear of harming yourself or your baby
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in sexual activity
  • Nervousness
  • Over-concern or lack of concern for the baby
  • Panic attacks
  • Sadness or depression
  • Sleeping and/or eating problems
  • Uncontrollable crying
Virtua offers several services to help women throughout the postpartum adjustment period and beyond:

  • Depression screening in the hospital after delivery
  • Weekly postpartum depression support group
  • Education on treatment options that may include medication and/or counseling
  • Coordination with the patient's obstetrician
  • Additional support through follow-up telephone calls
  • Happiest Baby on the Block class to help parents learn to soothe fussy babies
For information and referrals, Virtua also offers postpartum depression telephone support at 1-866-380-2229, 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

If you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

 

Screening Tool

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a screening tool designed to help determine a woman's risk for developing postpartum depression. The screening consists of 10 questions that take less than 5 minutes to answer. The answers provided are confidential; only the person taking the screen has access to them.

After completing the screening, the TLC staff advises women to print the results and discuss them with their doctor or midwife. This assists the doctor in determining if the patient is suffering from postpartum depression and helps them guide the treatment.

Take the depression screening now.

Support

TLC for Parents (Postpartum Depression Support)


Get some TLC (talking, listening and caring) at a professionally run support group for new moms and learn more about the "baby blues" and postpartum depression. The meetings provide a forum to help you express your feelings openly and gain support from others. Babies are welcome.


At TLC, moms will receive the following:


  • Comfort, support and assistance from TLC nurses
  • Information about emotional and physical changes experienced after giving birth
  • Support and understanding from other new moms and healthcare professionals
  • Assistance in appointment scheduling with mental health professionals, if necessary
  • Additional support through follow-up telephone calls
  • Education on treatment options for women who experience baby blues or postpartum depression
TLC Moms meet at Virtua Voorhees Hospital and Virtua Memorial Hospital during the following times:

At Voorhees: 
Wednesdays
Noon to 1:30 pm 
100 Bowman Ave 
Voorhees, NJ 
Garden level conference rooms (enter Lobby B) 

At Memorial: 
3rd Tuesday of the month 
3:30 to 5 pm 
175 Madison Ave 
Mt. Holly, NJ 
Conference rooms off of main lobby/entrance

*No registration is necessary and this group is always open to new members. If you have questions or need directions, call toll-free 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).


The TLC for Moms program provides resources and services to women in the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. For women outside of this area who have reached this site looking for information or resources related to postpartum depression, please go to Postpartum Support International for a list of national and international resources for postpartum depression.


Online Resources
Postpartum Support International

NJ Speak Up Postpartum Depression Program

you may also like

surprising time for depression

Surprising Time for Depression

Many moms don’t realize that depression is a common problem during pregnancy as well. Find out how to identify the signs of depression and where to seek help.

Read More
Handle New Moms with Care

Handle New Moms with Care

Having a baby is supposed to be a joyous time — until bonding with your newborn is tested by exhaustion or anxiety. Early postpartum depression recognition, support and treatment are the keys to recovery.

Read More