Having a baby should be the happiest time in a woman’s life…but what if it’s not? What if after giving birth she only feels sad and bursts into tears for no apparent reason? Feeling anxious, completely overwhelmed, and a sense of not seeing a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ are all symptoms of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is defined as ‘moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth.’ It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later, however, most of the time it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.
The first thing to know is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Many women find it frightening to seek treatment or feel a sense of shame in doing so. However, seeking help for postpartum depression is exactly the same as seeking treatment for a broken arm… it’s asking for professional help when it’s needed.
There’s no shortage of places to turn to, — first and foremost should be a woman’s own OBGYN; often women feel better just by talking out what they are feeling.
In addition, the hospital where the baby was born is a great resource. For example, Winthrop University Hospital has a Postpartum Home Healthcare program for women who deliver at their hospital in which a visiting nurse and a medical social worker can provide intermittent care for mom and her new baby. Additional information can be found HERE or at by calling 1-866-WINTHROP
In addition, here’s a list of postpartum depression support groups and other resources that can help one recover:
The Mother’s Circle of Hope
The Mother’s Circle of Hope is a support group offered by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center for women experiencing pregnancy-related or postpartum depression. The Mother’s Circle meets once a week for 11 weeks to provide emotional support and information to women in the community.
Where: Good Samaritan Hospital, 1000 Montauk Highway, West Islip, NY 11795
Contact info: (631) 676-HOPE (4673) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Circle of Caring Postpartum Support Groups
Part of the National Associate of Mothers Centers, the Circle of Caring offers emotional support, educational information and coping tools for empowerment.
Where: Call or email for local meeting locations
Contact Info: (516) 939-6667 ext.106 or email Lisa Kaplan-Miller at email@example.com
Postpartum Resource of New York
A self-help organization, Postpartum Resource of New York was established to provide emotional support, educational information, healthcare and support group referrals to mothers suffering from prenatal and postpartum depression
Where: 109 Udall Road, West Islip, NY 11795
Contact Info: Helpline (631) 422-2255
By Kim L. Como
Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici