Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?



Baby blues usually begin the third day after birth, grows worse until the fifth day, and then concludes about the tenth day after birth. Here are the symptoms to look for:
  • Tearfulness from time to time
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling irritable or cranky
  • Anxiety (usually over the baby)
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • A decrease in concentration or focus

Postpartum depression
varies in its symptoms from woman to woman. If you feel that your baby blues are getting worse, or if you experience any of the following symptoms, you need to call your health care provider immediately:
  • Depressed or sad mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Great disturbance in your sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Moderate to severe anxiety
  • Inability to care for yourself or your baby
  • Obsessive thoughts (thoughts that preoccupy you and won't go away)
  • Panic attacks (heart beats quickly, sweaty palms, sense of unreality, shortness of breath)
  • Thoughts about killing yourself or your baby

For more information on support and referrals for the baby blues and postpartum depression contact Postpartum Support International, www.postpartum.net. You can also check with your insurance plan for information on mental health providers.

Support Networks

Support is crucial in the postpartum period. For example, it's important to have someone to help with household chores or the care of your other children right after birth. Later, having someone to talk to, to ask advice from, or just to share your concerns and frustrations with, can make all the difference in the world. This might mean talking to your own mother or mother-in-law, joining a parenting support group, becoming friends with other new mothers (perhaps from your childbirth education classes), or seeing a therapist. If possible, establish a support network before your baby is born.

Continue to "Newborn Appearance" journey to parenthood


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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010