You have most likely heard of the “Baby Blues”. That is because 80% (4 out of 5) birthing people experience the Baby Blues – but what exactly does that mean? And when might it be something more? Postpartum Doulas are trained in recognizing signs of Baby Blues and when it may be something more. Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) – more commonly known as Postpartum depression and anxiety – are serious and we can help you know when to talk with your healthcare provider
During pregnancy and labor and delivery, your body is has gone through a huge change – physically and chemically too. You are experiencing hormonal changes, physically recovering from birth itself, and also now have a tiny human who needs your constant attention. No wonder you might feel tired, sad, cry for seemingly no reason, have mood swings, have trouble concentrating, sleeping, eating, or feel overwhelmed. Those are all common signs of the Baby Blues. Baby blues are common and normal, usually set in around day 2 or 3 after birth (Days 5-7 can be more difficult for some), last about 2 weeks, and go away on their own. If symptoms are more drastic or last longer than 2 weeks, it could be something more and you will want to talk with your healthcare provider. If you feel like harming yourself or your baby – call 911.
1 in 5 birthing people experience postpartum depression and anxiety.
Postpartum depression and anxiety (PMAD) are also common – up to 1 in 5 birthing people experience it. More importantly, it is NOT a sign of weakness. There is not one single cause and you should know that PMAD is not a result of anything you did or did not do.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety can look a lot like the baby blues but are usually more intense, last longer, and require treatment by a medical professional. If the following signs and symptoms increase, last longer than two weeks, interfere with daily tasks, or interfere in the caring for your baby, please call your doctor right away for help. The National Institute of Health lists these signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
- Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when your baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
- Eating too little or too much
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with your baby
- Persistently doubting your ability to care for your baby
- Thinking about harming yourself or your baby.
Remember you are not alone and there are people to help.
Whether you are dealing with the Baby Blues or something more there are some things you can do to help:
- First and foremost, ask for help! (Hiring a postpartum doula can be a big help!)
- Take time for yourself
- Get plenty of rest
- Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet
- Connect with friends and other new parents
- Get outside for fresh air and sunshine
- Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings or talk about them with someone you trust
- Give yourself grace and permission to not do it all and to not to be pregnant
- Speak with your healthcare provider about your concerns
Remember you are not alone and there are people who can help. Our postpartum doulas are trained to recognize signs and symptoms and connect you to resources for help. Contact Us for more information or support.
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