What is the Difference Between Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues?

What is the Difference Between Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues?Let’s talk about postpartum depression. You go through so many changes while you are pregnant, but also during and after birth. In addition to the changes you experience, 70-80% of women experience “baby blues,” while 1 in 7 women experience Postpartum Depression (PPD). Forms of treatment often include:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Support groups

How To Tell The Difference Between “Baby Blues” & Postpartum Depression (PPD)

While “Baby Blues” and “Postpartum Depression” do share some similarities, it’s important to know the differences between the two.

Symptoms of “Baby Blues” often begin 1-2 days after birth and last up to 2 weeks. Common symptoms of “Baby Blues” include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of focus
  • Problems sleeping

If you notice that your symptoms are continuing or worsening after 2 weeks, it is possible that you are developing Postpartum Depression (PPD). Additional symptoms of PPD can include:

  • Low mood
  • Severe mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Isolation from others
  • Significant changes in appetite or sleep
  • Loss of energy/interest
  • Severe irritability
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling restless
  • Panic attacks
  • Self-harming thoughts towards yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of wanting to end your life

Seeking Help

We recommend talking with your doctor if your symptoms last more than two weeks after birth or if your symptoms begin to worsen. You should also seek help if your symptoms are interfering with your ability to care for yourself or your baby or if thoughts of self harm occur.

If you are currently expecting or plan to become pregnant and depression runs in your family or you have a history of Postpartum Depression, we recommend consulting with your doctor at your first appointment. Doing so will allow your doctor to monitor symptoms more closely by tracking symptoms throughout your pregnancy and after pregnancy.

Support For “Baby Blues” & Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Support in the postpartum period is important for healing.

You can support yourself during this period by:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy diet

These things may seem impossible when caring for a new child, especially if there are other children in the home. This is why getting support from your spouse, parents and friends is also an important part of your recovery. Ways they can support you include:

  • Completing tasks around the home
  • Running errands
  • Caring for the child so you can recharge (sleep, exercise, alone time, shopping, time with friends, date night, etc.)
  • Assist in preparing healthy meals

If you are looking for a counselor to support you in your postpartum period, Garrett Counseling offers online and in-person appointments. We offer postpartum therapy at our Huntsville, Alabama office and other locations. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662 or by clicking here. If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from Postpartum Depression, talk with them and help them reach out to their doctor.

Sources

This blog was written by Kristin Hurst. You can learn more about Kristin here.

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