OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Postpartum Education

Our entire staff would like to extend their sincere congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your new baby. We hope your stay with us was a joyful experience. Our goal during your postpartum stay on the mother-baby unit was to instill confidence in caring for yourself and your baby before going home.

We made sure that you were comfortable with cord care, bathing, feeding as well as caring for yourself. With that said, we understand that there are so many things going on in the short amount of time that you are with us, that it is easy to forget some important and valuable information.

We wanted you to be able to access these important facts at your fingertips.

Program Chapters

Below are five different chapters. Click on the one that interests you and find the information that you need to answer your questions. If you do not find the answers, then do not hesitate to call your healthcare provider, lactation consultant or your baby’s health care provider to get your questions resolved.

This is basic information and not meant to take the place of professional assistance if needed.

Title Language
Introduction English Español
Chapter 1: Your New Beginning English Español
Chapter 2: Caring for Yourself English Español
Chapter 3: Caring for Your Newborn English Español
Chapter 4: Feeding Your Newborn English Español
Chapter 5: Baby's Health & Safety English Español

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Is It the Baby Blues or Something More?

Postpartum Depression

Having a baby can be one of the happiest and most important events in a woman’s life. While life with a new baby can be thrilling and rewarding, it can also be hard and stressful at times. Many physical and emotional changes can happen to a woman when she is pregnant and after she gives birth. These changes can leave new mothers feeling sad, anxious, afraid, or confused.

For many women, these feelings go away quickly, usually 10 days after delivery, and may be part of a normal experience called the Baby Blues. But, when these feelings linger or get worse, a woman may have what is called Postpartum Depression (PPD). This condition should be treated just as you would any other illness – by seeking help from a physician or a qualified mental health care provider.

It may be common to have these feelings or problems from time to time. When they occur during or after pregnancy and last for several days or weeks, they could be signs of a more serious problem. If you are experiencing any of these problems or have questions, call your health care provider. A few women may have a rare type of depression (postpartum psychosis) and may experience hallucinations or suicidal/homicidal thoughts. This is an emergency and they should be
seen immediately.

Help Is Available

Postpartum Depression (PPD) can be treated successfully. The type of treatment will depend on a careful diagnosis of the type and causes of PPD in each woman. PPD can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, or both. Women with PPD may benefit from going to support groups to talk with other women who are going through the same thing.

Different medications affect breastfeeding babies differently. Your doctor can take that into account when determining whether medication is the best treatment for you, and if so, what type and dose of medication would be best. Remember, any woman can develop PPD during or after pregnancy. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Talk with your physician or a knowledgeable mental health professional if you have any questions about PPD or its treatment. You can call a free 24-hour crisis hotline for moms at 1 (866) 364-6667.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Since your baby’s birth, do you sometimes feel:

  • Restless, angry, or irritable
  • Sad, depressed, or feel like crying a lot
  • Worthless or guilt
  • Afraid of hurting the baby or yourself
  • Overly worried about the baby or not concerned about the baby at all

Or do you sometimes have:

  • Little or no energy
  • Headaches, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, or fast and shallow breathing
  • Trouble sleeping well
  • Poor eating habits (skipping meals and losing weight or over eating and gaining weight)
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  •  Little interest in things you used to enjoy, including sex