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Postpartum Depression vs. Baby Blues

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Jennifer Bonaventure, DNP, CNM
Postpartum Depression vs. Baby Blues

Many women find that their moods change rapidly after having a baby. In fact, up to 80% of women experience what is known as the ‘baby blues,’ and one in eight women will experience postpartum depression.* It is important to recognize the differences between the two and know when to seek help.

Baby Blues

Feelings known as ‘baby blues’ may last up to two weeks and include:

  • Tearfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Combination of any of the above.

It is important to communicate with your family and ask for help when you need it. We also recommend:

  • Taking naps
  • Going for walks if you feel well enough
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking a few minutes for yourself each day.

Postpartum Depression

If the symptoms listed above persist for more than two weeks, or if you begin to have thoughts of harming yourself or other people, you may be experiencing postpartum depression.

In addition to the feelings experienced with ‘baby blues', you may also have:

  • A loss of interest in the baby
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Feelings of isolation.
Risk Factors

Your risk is increased if you have a history of anxiety or depression before or during pregnancy and/or little to no contact with other people. Other risk factors include:

  • Being a mom to multiples
  • Preterm labor and delivery
  • Pregnancy and birth complications
  • Hospitalization of the baby
  • Being a teen mom
How To Get Help

Experiencing postpartum depression does not mean you are a bad mom. Untreated depression can affect the whole family, so it is important to talk to your health care provider and your loved ones if you are experiencing these symptoms. It may also help to join a support group.

At Magnolia OB/GYN, we’re here to listen and provide expert medical care for every moment of womanhood. To schedule a visit, call (985) 202-7580 or click here.

If you’re having thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, you should call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Jennifer Bonaventure, DNP, CNM is a certified nurse-midwife with Magnolia OB/GYN, where she provides obstetrical and gynecological care for women of all ages.

Get to know more about Jennifer here.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention