Baby Blues - Helping with Post Partum Depression
The “Baby Blues” is a term that more and more moms are becoming familiar with. Postpartum blues, or baby blues, is defined as a period that begins three to five days after delivery where the mom may be emotionally labile, overwhelmed, tearful, and may have difficulty concentrating, eating and/or sleeping. This condition is estimated to affect between 40%-80% of new moms, and it resolves by 2 weeks postpartum. Postpartum depression includes the symptoms of postpartum blues, however it is more severe and lasts for over 2 weeks. Moms with postpartum depression often feel angry, guilty, sad, irritable and inadequate and may have difficulty performing normal daily activities due to the intensity of these emotions. It is estimated that between 10-20% of moms suffer from postpartum depression.
After 9 months of anticipation, planning, buying clothes, decorating the nursery and longing for this baby, moms often feel discouraged and embarrassed to admit that they are struggling with feeling sad. They think they should be constantly elated at the birth of their child and wonder what is wrong with them. There is a complex interaction of hormones and major life changes that is believed to be the cause of the postpartum blues/depression in new moms, and therefore these feelings are no reflection of a loss of the mom’s love for her new child.
By definition, postpartum blues is mild and goes away on its own within 2 weeks of delivery. It is important for moms to know that they are not alone in these feelings – actually, they are in the majority if they’re a little blue after the baby’s birth. On the other hand, postpartum depression needs to be addressed and treated. There are a variety of treatments for postpartum depression including one-on-one therapy with a counselor or psychologist, group therapy and sometimes moms need to take medication for a short period of time to get them back to a normal emotional state.
At Valle Verde Pediatrics, we care for you as well as your child. Because your family is so important to us, we administer the Edinburgh Postnatal Screening to access how our moms are doing emotionally after baby. If it appears that you may be struggling with some form of baby blues or postpartum depression, then we will discuss helpful resources with you.
We are here for you through all the seasons of life and want to help you and your family continue to thrive!!
Lusskin, S. & Misri, S. Postpartum blues and depression. UpToDate. Waltham, Mass: UpToDate; 2012.
Sriraman, N. Postpartum depression. Contemporary Pediatrics, 29(1), 40-46.