Monday , May 27 2024

Family Focus: Identifying Postpartum Depression

KSEE24 has partnered with First 5 Fresno County for a week-long series called "Family Focus."
Today, we’re talking about postpartum depression. So many new moms experience what’s called "baby blues," but when do you know if it’s something more serious.
"I kept reminding myself this is normal, this is what mommy’s feel, but I just couldn’t stop crying," remembered Fresno mother Gaby Encinas of her days right after giving birth. 
What Gaby was experiencing was postpartum depression, she just didn’t know it. The tipping point came when she was not able to breastfeed, despite months of trying. "At the end, nothing really worked and I think that really got me depressed and worried," she said.
Gaby may have been helped by breastfeeding her son. It minimizes the chance of postpartum depression by 50 percent, according to Emilia Reyes, Executive Director of First 5 Fresno County.
"The attachment of breastfeeding helps to alleviate the anxiety of not doing the right thing for your child," said Reyes.
First 5 provides "Welcome Baby Bags" to new moms who deliver in Fresno County. It contains information about breastfeeding, postpartum depression and resources available.
Symptoms of PPD last longer than two weeks and include:
-insomnia/fatigue
-feeling disconnected from your baby
-having negative thoughts about your baby
-feeling like an inadequate mom 
-irritability/anger
-mood swings
-and withdrawing from family/friends
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 13 percent of moms will experience postpartum depression.
"It’s more common than people realize and understanding that there is other resources and other people dealing with it help tremendously," said Reyes.
Gaby finally sought help from a therapist. 
"I think that really helped me a lot. Just to talk to someone that would not judge me. Just to give me that perspective," she said.
Her baby is now nine months old and thriving and so is mom.
KSEE24 will host a call center Friday during our evening newscasts when people can call in to get more information from a panel of experts. 

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