Difference Between Postpartum Depression And Baby Blues

Difference Between Postpartum Depression And Baby BluesPostpartum depression is one of the conditions that some mothers could snap into after childbirth.

However, the event of becoming a mother should be nothing but a joyous one.

Sadly, the excitement of having a new baby can be threatened by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and mood swings.

For many new mums, these feelings kick in shortly after giving birth. Some times, it becomes  confusing which exactly it is – postpartum depression or baby blues.

If you too are wondering, pull up a seat, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some ways to tell the difference between postpartum depression and baby blues:

Baby Blues

According to Janet Weatherly, a certified midwife at Henry Ford Health System, “Baby blues tend to appear around 3 to 5 days after the baby is born and the symptoms will persist for about 2 weeks.

Within the first few weeks after child delivery, the estrogen and hormonal changes a new mum experiences become factors in the introduction of post-baby blues symptoms.”

Common symptoms of baby blues include: irritability, crying, anxiety, feeling restless or overwhelmed.

These are often felt by new mothers due to the added stress and responsibility. Sometimes, the cluelessness that a newborn brings could also trigger it.

Such symptoms are likely to occur within four to 5 days after childbirth.

Postpartum Depression:

This is typically seen in mothers caring for a new infant and potentially older children in addition to managing her normal responsibilities, feelings of depression are especially problematic.

Studies have it that postpartum depression occurs in 10-15 per cent of women in the six months following childbirth with risk factors often mirroring individuals with some history of depression.

How To Spot The Difference Between Postpartum Depression And Baby Blues.

The time frame in which symptoms occur is the major distinguishing factor. This is because baby blues generally subsides after a few weeks while postpartum depression (PPD) sets in about 4 weeks post-conception and can last up until a year or even longer.

Another way to know the difference between postpartum depression and baby blues are the symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of baby blues are irritability, fatigue, anxiety, and sadness.

On the other hand, PPD symptoms are often more severe and include crankiness, aggression, extreme stress, and potential feelings of detachment from the baby.

You’re Not Alone

You were probably expecting to feel overly happy and proud of the new member of your family, but having a baby is a big change in anyone’s life.

So, be rest assured you’re not the first mum to deal with these emotional inconsistencies.

It’s very normal to feel this way.

After childbirth, your hormone levels drop, which takes a toll on your mood. Plus, your newborn is probably waking up at odd hours, too, so you aren’t getting enough sleep.

That alone can make you irritable.

About 80% of new mothers experience the short-term dips in mood caused by all of the changes that come with a new baby – baby blues.

These feelings set in when your newborn is just 3 or 5 days old, but you’re likely to shake it off by the time your baby is 1 or 2 weeks old.


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If your feelings of sadness last longer than that or start getting worse instead of better, then you know you’ve crossed the borders and stepped into the senior realm called postpartum depression.

It’s more severe and lasts longer than the baby blues, and about 15% of women get it.

So, unless you’ve had one or more cases of depression before now or there’s some history of it in your family, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Like every other problem under the sun, these too, have solutions:

How To Manage Baby Blues

You can jump-start your recovery from baby blues by:

  1. Getting enough rest; sleep as much as you can, and rest when your baby is napping.
  2. Feeding healthy. A healthy fuel in your system just makes everything better.
  3. Don’t lose it. Short walks, stretches, low-intensity exercises, yoga. In fact, just fresh air, and sunshine can work wonders.
  4. Accept help when loved ones offer it. You more you-time you can get, the better.

How To Manage Postpartum Depression

It’s not strange that you might not want to tell anyone you feel depressed after your baby’s birth, especially when you consider the society that we live in today.

However, opening up to a health care provider or a trusted member of family (your mum or spouse for example,) can help you feel like yourself again.

You could also sign up for some counseling sessions or you’re your Doctor prescribe you antidepressants to treat your symptoms.

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