If you’ve just had a baby, you may be struggling with a heightened mindset of sadness. While feeling a little down for a few weeks after giving birth is normal, here are some questions you might have if you’re concerned that it may be more than just the “baby blues.”
Is it normal to feel a little depressed after having a baby?
Baby blues are normal and you might feel a little sad, anxious, or cry for no reason. This usually lasts for about 2 weeks and begins to get better as the days go on.
What are the symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD) and how does it differ from postpartum blues?
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression include sadness, hopelessness, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, anxiety, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and not wanting to do things you once enjoyed. The symptoms are similar, but the primary difference between baby blues and PPD is that PPD affects a woman’s well-being and keeps her from functioning well for a long period of time. It can happen anytime during the first year. In extreme cases, it can cause a woman to have a desire to hurt herself or her baby. This is a reason to go to the ER.
How common is PPD?
It affects about 10% of women, but because no one talks about it, you feel guilty or lonely for struggling with it. In fact, one study showed that 80% of women with symptoms still hadn’t talked with their doctor about it.
What can you do if you struggle with PPD?
It is so important to understand that it can happen to anyone, and having PPD doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother or a bad person. You don’t have to suffer and there is help out there! Treatment includes counseling, medication, and support groups. Get rest, stop putting a lot of pressure on yourself, ask others for help, talk with trusted family and friends, spend time with other people, and if possible, avoid major life changes near the time of the birth of your baby, like moving homes.