Is it Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

The Baby Blues

A few days after the birth, a woman frequently experiences a sense of disorientation.  Often abrupt mood swings such as a feeling of elation, an emotional "high", are quickly followed by sadness, or an emotional "low."  Some of the common emotional reactions are:

  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Loss of identity
  • Increased sensitivity and vulnerability
  • Irritability
  • Decreased sexuality

Although emotional responses characterized by the "baby blues" are considered to be very common, the postpartum woman should do her best to alleviate these symptoms.  Sharing her feelings with her partner, other mothers, or professionals can often help.

Postpartum Depression

Some women suffer from emotional symptoms known as Postpartum Depression (PPD).  Because these symptoms are less common and have been given little professional attention in the past, these women often feel extremely bewildered because they experience symptoms for which they are usually unprepared.  A few of these symptoms include:

  • High anxiety levels
  • Deep despondency
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent crying
  • Aversion to touching the baby
  • A feeling of being "out of control"
  • Fear of harming the baby

If you are experiencing any of these feeling, it is important to seek professional help for treatment or for referral.

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