Postpartum Depression Support
What Every Mother Should Know
Do you feel sad, blue, miserable or down in the dumps? Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods of time. However, if your feelings of sadness, loss, anger, guilt, or frustration interfere with your everyday life for an extended period of time, you may have depression.
Depression is the most common of all mental illnesses and affects twice as many women as men. It has been estimated 10–20 percent of women develop depression after childbirth with a 20–30 percent recurrence rate with subsequent pregnancies.1 More than 60 percent experience the onset of symptoms within the first six weeks after delivery.2 Many postpartum mothers may have little knowledge about depression or may not recognize they are depressed, as symptoms of depression can overlap with common postpartum symptoms. Others may feel ashamed about being depressed after having a newborn. Up to 50 percent of all cases of postpartum/postnatal depression go undetected3 and without treatment, postpartum depression may continue and get worse. Do not suffer alone.
Please review the information and resources below, and ask for help if you are experiencing symptoms of depression after having your baby.
Do I have postpartum depression?
Depression is a treatable illness. Screening leads to early detection of postpartum depression (PPD) and provides an opportunity to get help. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is the most widely used and published tool for screening PPD. Please consider taking a few minutes to complete this 10-item questionnaire to find out if you may be suffering from PPD. Keep in mind this questionnaire is only a screening tool for PPD. Please see your provider if you have concerns about depression or other health-related matters.
(Please note this self-assessment tool is not intended to be a substitute for professional clinical advice. Users should always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions they have regarding their health.)
Where do I go for help?
If you think you might be suffering from PPD please discuss these symptoms with your provider. If you would like to locate a provider near you, check our Network Provider Directory.
Additional Resources for Families and Their Newborns
Newborn coverage – Links for information on how to register your newborn in DEERS and enroll your baby in TRICARE to ensure health care coverage and avoid extra costs.
Military OneSource – Military OneSource is provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status), and their families. It is a virtual extension of services available at an installation.
1 Walther, V.N. (1997). Postpartum Depression: A review for perinatal social workers. Social Work in Health Care. 24(3-4):99 -111.
2 Stowe, Z. and Nemeroff, C. (1995) Women at Risk for Postpartum-onset Major Depression. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 175(2): 639-645.
3 Ramsay, R. (1993). Postnatal Depression. Lancet. 341:1358.