- Hormone levels after birth drop, which significantly impacts mood. “Baby blues” are feelings of sadness after the baby is born and lasts 1-2 weeks. This short-term feeling is completely normal and usually resolves on its own, however, you should still mention it to your doctor in case there is progression.
Baby Blues symptoms can include
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Trouble sleeping
- Appetite problems
- For more information visit the American Pregnancy Association website on Baby Blues.
- Depression can occur during and after pregnancy and is very common in mothers with a history of depression or facing economic hardship. Prenatal depression if left untreated can progress and hurt you or your baby. Postpartum depression occurs after delivery and can interfere with bonding with your baby.
- Symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression include:
- Feeling hopeless and overwhelmed
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Hesitation to follow prenatal guidelines
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Withdrawing from family/friends
- Loss of energy/fatigue
- Insomnia/too much sleep
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Recurrent thoughts of death/suicide
- Overeating/ loss of appetite
- For more information on postpartum depression visit the Office on Women’s Health website, Postpartum Depression.
Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression
- “Baby blues” and postpartum depression are often mistaken for each other. Symptoms of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer. Postpartum depression can develop during pregnancy, few weeks after birth, or even 2 years after birth. Below are indicators that it’s postpartum depression and not baby blues:
- Begins within the first month or year after birth
- Lasts more than 2 weeks
- More intense
- Interferes with your ability to care for your baby and daily tasks
- For more information on the difference between “baby blues” and postpartum depression visit the National Institute of Mental Health website on perinatal depression.