Postpartum depression can be mistaken for “baby blues”, but it differs in intensity and duration...
While most new moms experience “baby blues” accompanying the hormone crash after giving birth. However, some new moms experience postpartum depression, a more severe and long-last depression. It is important to identify symptoms and seek treatment early in order to prevent greater impact on everyday life and bonding with your new baby.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can be mistaken for “baby blues” at first but the key is the intensity and duration. If symptoms are mild to moderate and only last a few days to two weeks after childbirth, this would be considered baby blues. If the following symptoms persist or get worse it is indicative of postpartum depression.
- Severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Trouble bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Excessively low or high appetite
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping all the time
- Lack of energy
- Intense irritability and anger
- Feelings of despair, worthlessness, shame or guilt
- Difficulty thinking clearly and concentrating
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Causes of Postpartum Depression
There isn’t a single cause of postpartum depression, but a combination of physical changes (drops in hormones) and emotional issues (the overwhelm of caring for a newborn) may contribute to postpartum depression.
Some common risk factors include:
- History of depression or bipolar disorder
- Family history of depression or mood disorders
- Stressful events in the year leading up to childbirth
- Newborn health complications or special needs
- Multiple births
- Poor social support system
- Financial difficulties
It’s important to treat postpartum depression early before it greatly impacts your everyday activities, work, and/or relationships. Some possible treatments include:
- Antidepressants are designed to balance chemicals (neurotransmitters) in your brain in order to affect mood and emotions.