Every mama and family should be prepared to address postpartum emotional concerns after bringing home baby. The emotional spectrum new mamas go through in the days, weeks, months, and even years following the birth of her baby can be a rollercoaster for her, as well as other family members. To start addressing these emotional concerns, it is important to be educated and able to differentiate between some mood conditions: Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression/Anxiety, Postpartum Psychosis. Below, these conditions are defined and list their common characteristics.
Please note, if you find yourself or someone you know experiencing many symptoms from any particular category and want help, its ok to ask! There are some resources listed near the end of this blog post. The assesment and diagnosis of any of these conditions should be made by a qualified professional.
10-15% of new moms.
Seek treatment promptly from support groups & counselors.
Often begins 2-12 weeks after baby is born, but can begin anytime in 1st year, or when baby is weaned.
Any Baby Blues symptoms, PLUS
Tired all the time,
Wants to sleep all the time
Can’t sleep even when baby sleeps
Unable to concentrate
Anxious, panicky, not coping
Shows no interest in baby
Hyper concerned about baby
Worried about harming self or baby
No care for appearance, eating, or other self care
.1-.2% of new moms.
Severity: High-Life Threatening
Seek immediate professional treatment.
May begin anytime in the 1st year or when baby is weaned.
Any Baby Blues or PPD symptoms, PLUS
Severe mood swings
Feels hopeless or ashamed
Talks about suicide / hurting baby
Hyperactive or Manic
Talks quickly or incoherently
Acts suspicious or fearful of everything
Experiences delusions or hallucinations
If you or anyone you know are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this blog post and are seeking more information, check out these online resources:
Postpartum Support International
It is important to note that Postpartum depression/anxiety is not usually diagnosed until after three weeks. Most of the ups and downs of the first few weeks are entirely normal.
Tips for avoiding Postpartum Depression:
Stay well fed
Rest as much as possible
Take short walks (after 2 weeks)
Gentle activities (after 6 weeks)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!