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From the moment your baby is born, your life changes forever. The most significant changes will be on your priorities and demands on your time. It is normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning. In fact, up to 80 percent of new mothers experience some level of the "baby blues." These feelings typically come and go within a matter of a few weeks. However, approximately 10% of women experience symptoms of Postpartum Depression. These feelings last more than a few weeks and are more intense then the "baby blues." The good news is that the symptoms are temporary and treatable with skilled professional care and social support. It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you believe you could be experiencing any signs of depression in the weeks and months following delivery.
Possible Signs of Postpartum Depression
Many new mothers are not prepared for the wide range of emotions they may have following childbirth. Women may feel anger, guilt, anxiety, worry, or a sense of inadequacy. Every mother is different and may have different combinations of feelings.
These confusing emotions and experiences can be signs of Postpartum Depression. Help is available.
The cause of Postpartum Depression is unknown. Here are some predictors:
Postpartum Depression is treatable. There are many treatment options available for Postpartum Depression including counseling, medication and support groups. If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of Postpartum Depression, please contact your healthcare provider to learn about the options and help available.
Most women suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD) realize that something is wrong, but often do not seek help. The important thing to remember is that the symptoms are temporary and treatable with skilled professional care and social support.
These are available online and at your local bookstore.
This Isn't What I Was Expecting: Overcoming Postpartum Depression. Karen Kleiman & Valerie Raskin, 1994.
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self Help Guide for Mothers. Pacific Post Partum Support Society.
Shouldn't I be Happy: Emotional Problems of Pregnant and Postpartum Women. Shaila Misri, 2002.
What Am I Thinking?: Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression. Karen Kleiman, 2005.
Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression. Karen Kleiman, 2000.
If you need help and don't know where to turn, here are some resources to call.
Human Services, Inc. • 610-873-1010
West Chester, Downingtown, Oxford and West Goshen. • Bilingual. • Insurance and medical assistance accepted, but not required.
Family Services of Chester County • 610-696-4900
West Chester • Most insurance and medical assistance accepted. Sliding payment scale between $10-$90. [www.familyservice.us]
Catholic Social Services of West Chester • 610-344-7028
Insurance accepted, but not required. Sliding payment scale for those without.
Life Counseling Services • 610-644-6464
Thirteen offices in the Delaware Valley • Insurance (Personal Choice, HMO and Point of Care Services) accepted. [www.lifecounseling.org]
Exton Behavioral Health & Rehab • 610-280-3959 • Erin L. Jameson, LCSW, Postpartum Psychotherapy Group.
Main Line Health Behavioral Health Services
1-888-CARE-898 • Offices in Delaware and Chester counties. • Crisis intervention, day programs and inpatient services. Insurance accepted, but not required.
Maternal & Child Health Consortium of Chester County
Main #: 610 344 5370 • Coatesville: 610-383-0630 • Phoenixville: 610-917-1360 • Kennett Square: 610-444-4002 • West Chester: 610-696-5122 • Oxford: 610-932-8557 • Part of Healthy Start Program • Bilingual • Insurance not required. [www.ccmchc.org]
Marjorie Johnson, DCSW, LCSW • 610-696-4443
Ascend Consulting Inc., West Chester • Some insurances accepted.
Postpartum Support International - PA Branch
Erin Saddic, MS of West Chester, 610-931-5547 • Jackie Kelleher of Elwyn, 610-892-5051 • Lisa Shallis, R.N. of Coatesville, 610-466-9030 • No charge. [www.postpartum.net]
Crisis Intervention of Chester County • 610-918-2100
Postpartum Stress Center • 610-525-7527
Rosemont • Karen Kleiman, MSW • One-time phone consult, subsequent services bear a charge. [www.postpartumstress.com]
Psychology Associates of Chester County • 610-873-4748 • Dennis Given, Ph.D. • Most insurances accepted.
West Chester Psychiatric Associates • 610-431-3920
Stuart Levy, D.O. • Insurance not accepted. Out-of-pocket only.
Last Updated: 8/10/2009