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Why Do I Feel This Way? Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression

By Shelley L. Northern, ARNP

You survived 9 long months of pregnancy, hours of labor and the birth, and now you are home and settling into your new life with your newborn baby.  Although this is typically a very special time in your life, it can also be emotionally challenging.  Approximately 70% of all new moms will experience symptoms of the baby blues in the first two weeks postpartum and 1 out of every 7 women will experience postpartum depression.

Baby blues is very common.  The symptoms are generally mild and typically come and go.  A woman with baby blues may feel tearful, insecure, vulnerable and moody.  Baby blues will resolve after a few weeks as your hormones level out and you begin to adjust to your new life with your baby.  Although it is no fun to feel this way, it is important to keep in mind that you have just been through a profound life experience both physically and emotionally.  If you are experiencing baby blues it is helpful to rest as much as you can, stay hydrated and nourished, and spend some time going for short walks outside with your partner or a friend.

Postpartum depression is different than the baby blues.  The symptoms of postpartum depression may start any point during the first year after the baby’s birth and last for several months if left untreated.  Women who have postpartum depression may feel sad, disconnected from their family and their baby, have difficulty concentrating, have a disrupted sleep routine and a change in their appetite as well.  In more severe cases, a woman may have thoughts of hurting herself or her baby.

Postpartum depression is a serious condition and requires medical help.  If you think that you could be struggling with postpartum depression, please make an appointment to talk with your care provider so that they can help you to start to feel better. Spokane OB GYN is here to listen and to help you get the care that you need to feel better soon.  Just call either the down town clinic at 838-4211 or 928-2866 at our Valley location.  We want to help.

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