The baby blues is common in about 80% of mothers and lasts for about 2 weeks. If the baby blues symptoms last longer than two weeks, then it is officially considered postpartum depression.
Symptoms of the Baby Blues
- Weepiness, sadness or crying
- Restlessness, anxiety
- Fatigue, Insomnia (even when the baby is sleeping)
- Poor concentration
Depression during and after pregnancy occur more often than most people realize. Approximately 1 in 7 women experience significant depression following childbirth. 1 in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy. Depression during pregnancy is also called prenatal depression, and depression after pregnancy is called postpartum depression.
Yes, it all sucks, and can be very painful to want to be the best mom you can be for your baby, but depression is sucking the life out of you. You can barely be there for yourself, much less another human life that is completely dependent on you. The suffering you feel as a pregnant or new mom with depression can be very isolating and lonely, but you are definitely not alone.
In fact, perinatal depression is the most common complication of childbirth. The term perinatal depression is a broad term that covers multiple maternal mood disorders, including prenatal depression, the "baby blues," postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Symptoms can start anytime during pregnancy or the first year after you have your baby. They differ for everyone, are typically more intense than they baby blues, and might include the following:
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Lack of interest in your baby
- Changes in appetite or sleep
- Crying and sadness
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Feeling hopeless about your future and getting better
- Loss of interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
- Suicidal thoughts or fantasies of your life ending
Postpartum depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. We often do not see depression without some level of anxiety, but anxiety can be experienced alone without symptoms of depression.
Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum might include:
- Constant worrying about your baby or just life in general
- Scary, intrusive thoughts of your baby being harmed by you, someone else, or something
- Feeling like something bad is going to happen
- Racing thoughts you can't seem to stop
- Not being able to sit still
- Dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea
- Panic attacks
Getting help when you're seeing symptoms of depression and anxiety while pregnant can help to lower the risk of developing postpartum issues.
Postpartum Depression Treatment
If you feel you may be suffering from one of these conditions, it can be a very scary experience. No mom or dad would ask for this suffering. You deserve to feel better for yourself and your family. For tips and techniques to feel like yourself again, click here for exclusive access to my free guide and 4-day e-course for overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety.
For professional help, visit my resource page for licensed mental health professionals in Oklahoma who are trained in treating postpartum depression and anxiety. We are all passionate about helping parents like you have postpartum wellness and feel like yourself again.
Join my free Facebook support group with other local parents who understand your struggle: Oklahoma Pregnancy & Postpartum Support.
References & Resources
Postpartum Progress (This site is no longer active but still has good information.)
Hi, I'm Thai-An. I'm a postpartum therapist and mother who is passionate about helping pregnant and postpartum parents overcome depression and anxiety so they can feel like themselves again and enjoy life with their baby and family. After overcoming my own battle with postpartum depression and anxiety, I opened Lasting Change Therapy, LLC in South Oklahoma City to dedicate my counseling practice to helping families have postpartum recovery and wellness, and I love it!