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UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Postpartum Depression

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately one in eight women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD). It can affect any woman regardless of age, race, income, culture or education, and generally, PPD begins within three months of delivery but can on-set at any time, even as late as one year after delivery. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 percent of men or non-birthing parents worldwide showed signs of depression, often referred to as paternal postpartum or postnatal depression or (PPPD), from the first trimester of their partner's pregnancy through six months after the child was born. 

Common Postpartum Depression symptoms include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness; excessive guilt
  • Loss of pleasure or interest
  • Loss of energy, tiredness
  • Low (anxious or depressed) mood
  • Psychomotor agitation (restlessness, jittery, hand-wringing)
  • Poor concentration, memory
  • Poor appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Suicidal thoughts (seek help immediately; National Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK)

Your doctor can help you determine if you are struggling with PPD. He or she will ask you questions and may give you a brief assessment questionnaire to help determine your condition. If it is determined you are at risk for PPD, your doctor will make a referral to a mental health provider for a more thorough assessment and to begin treatment. You may also seek counseling on your own without a referral. 

Treating a new father/non-birthing parent for PPD can affect the overall health of a family. It's important to address these mood changes as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment

Call UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Counseling & Psychiatry at 515-241-2300. Our schedulers will help you with your insurance information and any other initial questions you may have. Our clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.