Postpartum Depression vs. the Baby Blues

Scenario: Your partner takes you out for your first date night since the baby was born.
 
Baby blues response: You feel unattractive, even in your all-black outfit that hides the extra baby weight. You worry about the baby so much that you can't truly enjoy your date. You spend the entire dinner complaining about how overwhelmed you are and insinuating that your partner has it easy. After you go home, you collapse into bed, hoping to catch a few hours of sleep before the baby wakes up. Over time, though, the date nights become more fun, and before long, you actually look forward to them.
 
Postpartum depression response: You pick at your food, not really eating, even though it's your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant. Nothing tastes good anymore. You don't really have anything to say to your partner, who doesn't understand you at all anymore. You are surprised that you don't miss your baby at all, even though you're not having any fun. When you get home, you're wide awake, even though your baby and your partner are both sound sleep. Over time, date nights remain just another tedious chore, and you don't look forward to them at all.
 

Still Not Sure?

If you suspect you might have postpartum depression, the next step is to talk to your doctor. If you have a doctor's appointment already scheduled soon and you feel like the situation can wait a few days, you can simply discuss it at your next visit. But, if you don't have an appointment set up soon enough, you'll need to make an appointment. Make sure to tell the receptionist or nurse that you think you might have postpartum depression so they will try to get you an appointment quickly.
 
Try not to feel embarrassed or awkward about it. Postpartum depression is common; healthcare providers who take care of women see it all the time, and they know how to deal with it. They also know that it's brought on largely by the huge hormonal drop that occurs after childbirth and is not a sign of personal weakness.
 
If you feel like you might be a danger to yourself or your baby, please seek immediate help.
 
Remember that postpartum depression is treatable. You don't have to suffer needlessly. You deserve the chance to enjoy (or at least tolerate) motherhood, and your child deserves the chance to have a healthy mom.
 
Baby Milestones You've Never Heard Of

Information on Postpartum Depression

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