JOPLIN, Mo. — A new baby is supposed to be a joyous time for any new mother.

But, there’s sometimes a heavy burden that lurks in the shadows of that happiness.

“I would say at any given time, upwards of about 15% of women who have just had children are experiencing postpartum depression,” said Elizabeth Moore, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Moore at Freeman Health System says there’s an important distinction between baby blues and postpartum.

“Baby Blues can last anywhere from right after giving birth. Anywhere from two to three weeks to a month tops. If anything occurs beyond that, we’re dealing with something that’s a bit more serious,” said Moore.

Because ‘baby blues’ are considered normal.

“You’ve got the hormones. You’ve got all the chemicals running through your body. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Sometimes you can get a little down,” said Moore.

It’s those darker thoughts that should raise some red flags.

“I’m worthless. I’m not a good mom. I cannot do this. My child would be better off without me. Those are some really concerning thoughts that need to be addressed,” said Moore.

Moore says it’s typical for doctors to keep a watchful eye on a mother experiencing postpartum depression for up to a year after she gives birth.

“When you’re not feeling connected to that child that you have carried in your womb for 9 months, those can be very startling feelings that you did not expect to have,” said Moore.

Medications are an option as well as talk therapy or electro-convulsive therapy in a hospital setting.

“Electrodes are placed on the brain and it sends electrical currents through the brain. It’s kind of a resetting process,” said Moore.

Moore bravely shares that she, too, had a significant bout of post-partum depression, and even peripartum depression, which happens while pregnant.

“I want to let mothers know that there are resources, that there are many moms that go through this as well, and it’s okay. It’s not a fault of theirs. It’s a chemical imbalance, and that’s it. And that can be corrected, and that’s the beautiful thing,” said Moore.

If you know anyone struggling with their mental health and they need someone to talk to, the suicide prevention lifeline is now a simple 3 numbers, 988.

You can call or text and be directly connected with a crisis counselor.

We also have more resources for you under the suicide crisis tab.