Postpartum blues and depression are two separate issues
Having a baby, and starting or expanding your family, is a special and very emotional time for you. You may not experience postpartum blues, also known as postpartum depression, but it is important to recognize the symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them.
The baby blues are relatively common within the first few days after you deliver. Feeling a little sad or depressed is temporary, and is due to sudden demands of motherhood and hormone changes.
You may feel fine, and then be crying for no apparent reason. Sometimes it is helpful to have a good cry and let it out. It is okay. Then find some time for yourself, like getting a massage or having lunch with a friend.
Remember to keep your relationship with your partner as a top priority, and go out on a date without the baby. Seek advice from family and friends who have had children. They can tell you what it is really like becoming a mom. Share your feelings!
Beyond baby blues
Postpartum depression, or postpartum blues, tends to occur after the first couple of weeks, and is more prevalent than you may realize.
It may be difficult for women to discuss their feelings due to embarrassment, shame and uncertainty of how their partner will respond.
You are not alone. Postpartum depression is a real illness that affects 20% to 30% of all postpartum women. The important thing to remember is that it is treatable, and your Austin OBGYN at Women’s Health Texas wants to help.
Know that you can feel good again, and do not let denial, misinformation, finances or anything get in the way of getting the help you need.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
Some symptoms of postpartum blues include:
- Irritability and sudden mood changes, snapping at your family, crying easily
- Trouble sleeping, feeling exhausted all the time
- Worrying about things that did not bother you in the past
- Wondering if you will ever have time for yourself again
- Thoughts that your children would be better off without you
- Decreased appetite or difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest, no longer enjoying things you used to enjoy
- Feelings of guilt or that you are not a good mother
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- Fear of leaving the house or being alone
- Unexplained anger or anxiety attacks
- Think something is wrong with you and will never get better
If you have three or more of these symptoms, you should seek advice from your physician. Talk to your partner, and take the first step to getting help and feeling better.