Post-Partum Depression vs. Baby Blues

Post-Partum Depression vs. The Baby Blues

Having a baby is a major change in anyone’s lives, whether it be a first child or adding another to the family. However, something that is not widely talked about after having your bundle of joy is suffering from depression symptoms. These symptoms can be the “baby blues” or more severe and be post-partum depression (PPD).

Most people expect after having a baby to be happy, loving, and this new big happy family with no issues. This is not reality, babies are not necessarily easy, they do not sleep, they cry, parents are working on figuring out how to parent and the baby’s needs and the baby is figuring out how to be a baby. This process is one of the hardest things parents have gone through but coming out the other side is the most rewarding. Although, looking back it can be a dark place filled with crying, no sleep, sore boobs, and a lot of diaper changes.

With everything going on that surrounds being a new parent, the mother’s hormones are also trying to regulate. This can cause feelings of irritability, sadness, being overwhelmed, anxiety, and not feeling adequate. If these feelings are coming on, how is someone able to differentiate if they are suffering from the baby blues or PPD?

What are the baby blues? The baby blues are caused by hormone regulation that begins within two to five days after birth and last two to three weeks. Some symptoms of the baby blues are:

  • Crying
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Restless/Overwhelmed
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue

What is post-partum depression? PPD can start as early as one week after giving birth up to several months after giving birth and can last a year or longer. Some symptoms of PPD are:

  • Sadness that doesn’t go away
  • Anger
  • Feeling distant from your baby
  • Not feeling interest in your baby
  • Crying more than usual
  • Loss of energy
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleeping issues (trouble sleeping or sleeping too much)
  • Thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of emotion
  • Hopelessness

How to tell the difference between the two?  Questions to ask: How long after giving birth did the symptoms begin? As well as are you still experiencing them after three weeks?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms reach out to a therapist for support. You do not have to go through this alone.