Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression
Giving birth to a baby can lead to some major changes to the body and life of the new mother. And for a woman to feel emotional soon after birth can be a normal reaction. There are some dramatic hormonal changes involving the woman`s body immediately after giving birth. She finds out she`ll be a mother in a few moments and the feelings that she would now have more responsibilities might overwhelm her.
This is generally how “the baby blues” appears when some of the new mothers are concerned. You are not alone! This emotional disappointment during the first weeks after becoming a mother is common for some mothers . This state of being has physical origins and is amplified by the new changes that just happened, but the body will return to its initial state of being.
Table of Contents
Symptoms Involving the Baby Blues
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Tension and stress
- Difficulties of concentration
- Sleeping issues and excessive fatigue
- Sadness and senses of loss
- Refusal to go out to fresh air
- Lack of desire to get dressed
- Lack of desire to clean around the house
- Mood changes
Causes & Risk Factors
- Stress – Taking care of the newborn is a big responsibility which can be overwhelming at first. Mothers often don`t have enough time to sleep and are always concerned with their ability as a mother. All new mothers have to deal with all this eventually.
- Physical Changes – Giving birth brings a series of physical and emotional changes. A lot of women experience physical pains immediately after birth. Some of them can become uncertain whether or not they are still attractive.
- Hormonal Changes – After birth, women have a low level of progesterone and estrogen. Thyroid levels might be decreasing which could lead to depression and fatigue. The blood pressure could change, as well as the entire metabolism and immune system.
The Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression
Unlike the baby blues, a normal sadness because of the hormonal changes that occurred after giving birth, postpartum depression is a much more serious issue. This isn`t something to be ignored. Still, sometimes is not quite easy to make the difference between the two.
At first, this type of depression can be really similar to a normal sadness that all new mothers experience the first few weeks after giving birth. Actually, there are a lot of similar symptoms between the two including sadness, irritability, crying or insomnia. Still, the difference is that when this depression is involved, the symptoms are much more serious and can last for longer periods of time (suicidal thoughts, the inability to take care of the baby, etc).
Risk Factors Involving this Depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Lack of support from the close ones
- Social difficulties
- Other severe disorders you may have suffered in the past
Postpartum Depression Symptoms
- Negative thoughts regarding the baby
- Lack of interest regarding her own person
- Lack of motivation or energy
- Weight or appetite changes
- Lack of interest of her own baby
- Loss of pleasure regarding almost anything
- Less or more sleep than usually
This type of depression usually appears for short periods of time and then it disappears. However, there are certain things that you can do to feel better when you pass through this situations.
- You need time to feel ready when becoming a mother – The pregnancy lasts for 9 months and the process of adoption can last even more. Giving birth takes only a few minutes, but to truly become a mother takes much more time. Becoming a mother is more about responsibility before anything else. A women passes through physical and emotional changes, perhaps the most important changes of her life. Remind yourself from time to time that everything is fine and that you just need time.
- Sleep as much as you need – It`s believed that insomnia increases depression. So take advantage of all the time you find to get more sleep. You can find time when your baby is sleeping, you can go earlier to bed if possible or get more sleep in the morning.
- Talk to someone who you know can understand you – Do you have a close person that you trust? Maybe a close friend or a sister? If the person has actually went through the same things you are going through, even better. Such a person can really understand what you feel and is able to advice you accordingly.
- Go outside and enjoy the fresh air – If your physical health will allow you, get out from your house and enjoy some fresh air for once in a while. You can go to the mall with a friend or to the park. The library can also be a great choice if you like to read. Anywhere but home!
- Eat healthy – If you don`t eat properly, your mood can be affected without even noticing. If you still breastfeeding, it`s even more important to have a healthy diet. Fresh food consumed frequently can offer you the required nutrients to help you fight this postpartum depression that you may experience.
- Join a group – Joining a group in real life or online can help put order into those bad thoughts you may experience after giving birth. However, it`s essential to pick a group that will fit your own personal beliefs.