Postpartum Depression vs. the Baby Blues
Many women experience the "baby blues" after their child is born. However, for some women, the huge drop in hormones following childbirth triggers a more serious condition known as postpartum depression. A common symptom of postpartum depression is being afraid that you will hurt your baby or yourself. If you're having symptoms, seek help from your doctor. Postpartum depression is more common than most people realize; it is also treatable.
Do I Have Postpartum Depression or the Baby Blues?
Let's face it. Having a newborn can be rough. The exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, and the isolation can add up to make you a miserable mom. But how do you know if it's postpartum depression or just normal "baby blues"? Looking through lists of common postpartum depression symptoms can help, but it can be very difficult to differentiate between what's normal and what's not. This article will provide a few examples of common baby challenges and how mothers with and without postpartum depression might respond.
Baby blues response: You feel upset, sad, and disappointed. You're angry that it's so easy for other mothers. You may cry and/or lash out at your partner. You're even more exhausted than typical new moms because you probably have to pump as well. But as the weeks pass, breastfeeding starts to go more smoothly (or, alternatively, it just didn't work out, and you are now okay with formula feeding), and your mood improves.
Postpartum depression response: Very similar, except more persistent. You still feel extremely upset and very sad about it weeks and months after your breastfeeding struggle, regardless of the outcome. You might resent your baby for not being a good breastfeeder and have thoughts of harming your baby. Or you may hate other women who found breastfeeding easy. Or you may hate your partner for not being supportive enough. Or you may hate yourself.