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Pathology

Robert R. Cawley, D.O.

Dover, NH 03802

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Postpartum Mental Health

Women & Children's Center

Don’t feel like yourself?

There’s help.

Life with a new baby in the home is a wonderful but challenging adjustment. It’s important to face the challenge with a healthy body and mind. You might be surprised to learn that 1 in 5 women experience depression and/or anxiety while pregnant or following the birth of a baby. Often, the symptoms are disregarded as being related to other causes (fatigue, feeding issues, etc.). However, they may be an indication of postpartum depression or anxiety. 

Support is available for you and your family. It’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling physically as well as emotionally. Getting help may be the best thing you can do for yourself and your new baby. Contact your provider’s office today.

Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression or Anxiety

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Feeling like something bad is going to happen
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  • Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes and nausea
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Constant worry or excessive crying
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Racing thoughts
  • Disturbance of sleep and appetite
  • Inability to sit still
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Intense irritability and/or anger
  • Fear that you’re not a good mother
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Talking to your Healthcare Provider

Making the decision to speak with your healthcare provider is an important step to positively impact your health as well as the wellbeing of your baby and other family members. Many effective support options are available and your provider can help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Start a list. Writing things down is one way to ensure you don’t forget to mention something important. Write down concerns you have and how they’re affecting you and/or your baby.  Try to track how often you’re having certain feelings or how long you’ve been feeling this way.  You may also choose to use the list below of recognized symptoms as discussion points

  • I just want to be alone all the time
  • I’m worried and anxious most of the time
  • I have no interest in seeing family or friends
  • I think the only way to feel better is to use alcohol or other substances
  • Sometime I feel like my family would be better off without me
  • I’m afraid of being alone with my baby
  • I’ve had serious thoughts of hurting myself
  • I’m having thoughts over and over about harm coming to my baby or me
  • I have no appetite
  • I’m sad and crying for no reason
  • I can’t sleep or I sleep all the time
  • I don’t think I’m a good mother
  • I can’t concentrate or stay focused
  • I’m angry or very irritated a lot
  • Everything feels overwhelming   

Bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment if you’re comfortable. You may get a lot of information from your provider and having someone with you can help ensure you don’t miss anything important. Often, friends or family members are the first to recognize you’re struggling and they may be able to offer some valuable input.

What will my provider say? You should expect your provider to be supportive of you. Your provider may suggest therapies such a referral to a Behavioral Health Provider and/or medication or Integrative Therapy. Your provider may also give you information about the many support groups in the area so you can connect with other new mothers having similar experiences. Let your provider know how you’re really feeling, he or she does want to know. Having a new baby is challenging and it’s important to face this challenge with a healthy body and mind.

Postpartum Support Groups

New Parent Support Group
Meet other new parents and discuss topics of concern to you. Facilitated by lactation consultants and child life specialists. Meets weekly. 

Finding yourself in Motherhood Support Group
Becoming a mother can be joyful and challenging. If you’re not feeling quite yourself or it’s not what you expected, you’re not alone. Talking with other moms who are experiencing the same feelings can help. Meets weekly.

For more information on these Wentworth-Douglass groups, visit the Childbirth Education page. 

For more support groups in the area, visit: postpartum.net/locations/new-hampshire

Online Resources

Contact Us

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Maternal/Child Resource office at (603) 609-6964