Do I have the “Baby Blues” or Postpartum Depression?

“I just had a baby and I am feeling so sad, irritable, and exhausted that I can’t bond with my baby.  I’m just not happy.” “I find myself crying more than usual. I feel isolated from my partner. My partner just can’t relate to me anymore.  We’ve lost all connection.” “ I feel like I can’t catch a break. I’m just so tired. I am wondering if this happens to everyone or just me.”  Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? If so, you are most likely to experience “Baby Blues.” Many women experience what is described as the “Baby Blues” or feelings of exhaustion, irritation, and sadness shortly after childbirth. It is estimated that 50% to 80% of all mothers experience "postpartum blues" after birth. For most women, this feeling is temporary—it usually begins one to three days after delivery and may last between one to two weeks.  

“Everyone tells me I should be happy, but I am crying all the time.  I am feeling guilty, shameful, and hopeless. No one understands me.” “I am not bonding well with my baby.  I am not doing well with the role of motherhood. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be a mother?” “Sometimes I have thoughts that my baby and family would be better off if I wasn't here.” Are you having any of these thoughts?  If so, then you may be experiencing Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression occurs in about 1 in 7 women after childbirth. The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer than the “baby blues” and are more severe. These symptoms include: low mood or depressed mood, sadness and excessive crying, loss of interest or pleasure in doing things, agitation and irritability, anxiety and constant worry, difficulty concentrating, disturbances in appetite and/or sleep, loss of energy, feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness, and/or possible thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. Someone suffering from depression may experience some or all of these symptoms. Women are vulnerable to postpartum depression up to one-year following delivery.  New mothers who find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, or depressed should not be silent or ashamed. You should know that you are not alone and help is available.