All the excitement of baby showers, preparing the nursery, and bringing your little one home is over. After all of your friends and relatives have left, it’s normal to have a bit of a “let down.” You may feel a little sad or moody when everything settles down into normalcy. It happens to lots of women, but is it just baby blues or postpartum depression?
Typical Baby Blues
Feelings of loneliness, bouts of crying, and feeling tired all the time are normal reactions. Your hormones are all over the place after childbirth. You are suddenly hit with the responsibility of this little creature. It’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed, but most of the time these feelings will pass.
Not So Typical Baby Blues
When these feelings become more severe, you may be on the verge of postpartum depression or PPD. If your feelings begin to interfere with your life and taking care of your newborn, then this can indicate something more serious. Don’t ignore long bouts of depression or not being able to sleep even when you have help at night. Guilt feelings or not being interested in your normal activities is another red flag. If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or your child, it’s time to ask for help. Call Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology and explain what is going on. Don’t be ashamed! They have heard it all before and want to help.
Duration Of Baby Blues vs PPD
80% of new moms have intermittent sad feelings for normally up to 14 days. These baby blues symptoms can occur for a few minutes to a few hours every day. If these feelings last much longer, and for a minimum of 2 weeks, this is a clue it could be the more serious postpartum depression. PPD can begin even as late as three months after delivery. Feelings of being out of control, hopelessness, frustration, and worthlessness are common symptoms of PPD and should not be ignored.
Take Care Of Yourself
It is important to recognize the signs of both baby blues and postpartum depression. Feeling sad is different from wanting to escape from everything and everyone. Pay attention to your moods, how long they last, and how severe they are. If you have concerns, try some of the following:
- Talk with someone you trust and be honest about how you are feeling.
- Pay attention to what you are eating. Too many carbs can increase mood swings
- Go out in the sunshine every day. Maybe take a short walk.
- Give yourself time to adjust to your new life and responsibilities. Remember, you’re not perfect, and nobody expects you to be.
There are medications, therapy, and support groups to get you through any bouts of postpartum depression. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most importantly, contact Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology if you feel like you are out of control and things are too much for you to handle.