The birthing process takes a physical and emotional toll on every mother, but it is the latter that many mothers are not prepared for. You see, after you give birth your hormone levels plummet, which of course can affect your overall mood and mindset. Many mothers expect to feel nothing but elation after they meet their baby, so when they start feeling overwhelmed or moody it is an emotional curveball for which they are not ready. Two primary diagnoses explain this phenomenon: baby blues and postpartum depression.

First of all, it is completely normal to feel this way. Up to 80% of new mothers experience baby blues, or in other words, drops in mood that is caused by all the changes that come with having a baby. Baby blues are generally short-term, beginning when your baby is only a day or two old and lasting for about a week or two. If your feelings do not improve or if they worsen you might be experiencing what’s called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is more acute and long-lasting than baby blues, and up to 10% of women experience it. Below are the most classic/common symptoms of each:

Baby blues:

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Irritability

  • Decrease in energy

Postpartum depression:

  • Low self-esteem

  • Guilt

  • Changes in appetite (usually a decrease)

  • Sadness

  • Frequent crying

  • Insomnia

  • Feeling like you’re not bonding with your newborn

As I stated at the beginning of this post, having a baby can be tough and you should not have to do it alone; nor should you have to keep these feelings to yourself. The best thing you can do to help overcome the baby blues would be to talk with your support system about how you are feeling. This can be your partner, family, friends, or even online communities, the list goes on. But also remember it is important to talk to your OB doctor about how you are feeling too.

If you have more questions about PPD or the baby blues or are even looking for an OB doctor, visit  www.stillsonwitt.com