Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

According to the Mayo Clinic (2022) most women might encounter some baby blues after delivering their baby. But the key factor is that baby blues develops a few days after delivery and should only last for a maximum of two weeks.

Some symptoms of baby blues are having crying spells, mood swings, experiencing anxiety, and sleep disturbances (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

Postpartum depression is more severe and lasts a lot longer than two weeks. It can even occur during pregnancy. The difference between postpartum depression and baby blues is postpartum depression can affect your ability to care for yourself or your child. It can even make it difficult for you to do daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, showering, or washing your laundry (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms below then you might have postpartum depression.

1. Isolating yourself from friends or family.

2. Sleeping too much or struggling to get adequate rest. Experiencing insomnia.

3. Having thoughts about harming yourself or your baby.

4. Feeling hopeless.

5. Fatigue or loss of energy.

6. Repeated thoughts about death or suicide.

7. Constantly crying.

8. Feeling irritable or intense rage.

Don’t lose hope if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Instead here are a few steps you could take to help manage your postpartum depression.

1. Reach out to your medical provider and discuss this with them. They may prescribe you some medication to help manage the symptoms.

2. Find a therapist that specializes in postpartum depression. So they can teach you skills to help manage what you’re experiencing. Research shows that therapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) combined with medication (such as antidepressants) is the most effective treatment .

3. Reach out to people you trust for support. And be honest with those you feel can show you compassion during this time.

Postpartum depression can appear a few days to a year after delivering your baby. And it can last for up to 3 years after delivery. Men can have postpartum depression too.

Written by Eriko Her, M.A., T-LPC

References

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, November 24). Postpartum depression. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

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