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  • Keisha L. French, M.D.

How do I know if I have Postpartum Depression or normal Postpartum Blues?

Postpartum blues is considered an overwhelming feeling that some women tend to experience 2-3 days after delivery. It usually sets in, once the mother gets home from the hospital and is trying to create a schedule for her newborn baby. The mother can feel depressed, anxious, and easily irritated. She may also experience frequent crying spells, trouble eating and sleeping. Postpartum blues usually gets better within a few days to 2 weeks without treatment. Many new mothers will experience these feelings to some degree after delivery, which is normal. It is important to identify if your feelings are getting worse, even though you are doing everything in your power to manage them. If you or your family members are concerned about worsening symptoms, please do not hesitate to come in and speak with us about them.

Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a feeling of severe depression, sadness, anxiety, and despair. These feelings tend to keep a mother in the bed all day and prevent them from caring for their newborn/family and completing regular daily activities. Postpartum depression usually occurs 1-3 weeks after delivery up to 1 year postpartum. Postpartum depression is related to several different factors including:

  1. Hormonal changes (drop in progesterone and estrogen after delivery)

  2. Prior history of depression

  3. Fatigue

  4. Lifestyle factors (lack of support)

Postpartum counseling and treatment is highly recommended for anyone diagnosed with postpartum depression. The physicians at Nash OB-GYN will be happy to see and evaluate you for medical treatment (antidepressants) and counseling options. It is important for women to know and understand that postpartum depression is not a “failure” on your part to cope or manage your family. Postpartum depression is more common in the population than we know and talk about because many women struggle in silence. It does not and should not be that way, and we hope you come in to improve your quality of life by gaining support and possibly treatment.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

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