Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression: Recognize the Differences in This Dark Period for New Moms

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Baby blues after pregnancy are common and will typically resolve on its own within a few weeks of the birth. While postpartum depression is also proving to be more common, medical intervention is needed.

Blame the Pregnancy Hormones

After the birth of the baby, the enormous amount of hormones that have been present in the body to support the growing baby decrease drastically. This rapid reduction in hormone levels can leave the new mom a crying mess. Tears and sadness may be uncontrollable and for no apparent reason. Coupled with the lack of sleep, the combination can provide an unbearable environment for the first few weeks after pregnancy.

Identifying Postpartum Depression

The baby blues are experienced by most women and will diminish with time. Most women will only battle with the baby blues for two to three weeks after pregnancy. If the sadness, tears and irritability lasts beyond the first few weeks, it is time to seek medical help.

Postpartum depression, otherwise known as PPD, is a serious condition after pregnancy. It cannot be resolved on its own and can result in disastrous results for the new mom and baby if left untreated. Women who suffer from PPD often feel guilty and that nothing they do is good enough. They question why they became moms and have an overwhelming feeling of regret and sadness. They struggle to meet the most basic needs of their baby.

Treatment for Postpartum Depression

If PPD is suspected, it should be brought to the attention of a doctor immediately. Most women will benefit from a combination of therapy and medication. Some are concerned about taking medications while breastfeeding. Rest assured there are effective medications available that can be taken while breastfeeding.

Support groups for PPD may also be helpful to women who are suffering from postpartum depression. This can allow the woman to share her feelings about motherhood as well as realize that she is not alone in her feelings. This alone can make a world of difference as many PPD sufferers question their worth as a mom and view all others as being more capable.

Life after PPD

Treatment for postpartum depression is not a quick and easy fix. It can take months to feel back to normal again. During the treatment period, extensive help may be required by family members and friends in caring for the baby and taking care of every day tasks. It is important to realize that the woman has no control over her bout with postpartum depression and it is not something that she can snap out of on her own.

When postpartum depression escalates, it can lead to postpartum psychosis. In this affliction, a woman may have thoughts of harming the baby or herself. It is imperative that treatment is sought immediately if postpartum psychosis is suspected.

Moms who suffer from postpartum depression can go on to live very happy lives and enjoy their children immensely. It is common in PPD sufferers to take more time to effectively bond with their baby but it will happen with time and treatment. There is life after postpartum depression if help is sought.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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