Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression

baby blues, what are baby bluesMany women can relate to the emotional rollercoaster that dominates the first few weeks after a baby is born.  The term “baby blues” is often used to refer to the mild mood swings that occur after the birth of a child. Nearly 80% of women express experiencing baby blues. Having the baby blues is NOT a disorder. It is completely normal.

Perinatal mood disorders are common (15-20% of women)…but NOT normal. So how do you know if you or a loved one is experiencing something more serious than the baby blues?

The baby blues usually has an onset of about one week postpartum and lasts about three weeks. Symptoms include moodiness, tearfulness, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and sadness. These feelings come and go and the predominant mood is actually happiness.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) and anxiety (about 15% of women) have an onset any time until one year after the baby is born and lasts longer than three weeks. The highest time of risk for new mothers is six months after delivery. Symptoms include excessive worry, sadness, guilt, hopelessness, sleep problems, fatigue, loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, change in appetite, irritability, and difficulty making decisions.

Postpartum Psychosis occurs in one to four per thousand women. Five percent of these women commit suicide and four percent commit infanticide. Women with postpartum psychosis experience hallucinations, delusions, and confusion.

If you feel like you are struggling with more than the "blues," we can help. Call us today at 800-678-5500.