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 either of these situations, but it is important to recognize the symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them. The baby blues is 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-a massage or 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!!
Postpartum depression tends to occur after the first couple of weeks and is more prevalent than you 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. It is a real illness that affects 20-30% of all postpartum women. The important thing to remember is that it is treatable and your doctor wants to be of assistance. Know that you can feel good again, do not let denial, misinformation, finances or anything get in the way of your getting the help you need.
Some symptoms include:
- Irritability and sudden mood changes, snapping at your family, crying easily
- Trouble sleeping, feeling exhausted all the time
- Worrying over 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
- Have decreased appetite or difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest, no longer enjoy 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
- Have unexplained anger or anxiety attacks
- Think something is wrong with you and will never get better
(If you answered yes to 3 or more, you should seek advice from your physician. Talk to your partner and take the first step to getting help and feeling better.)