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Postpartum Blues

Having a baby brings many dramatic changes—changes in your lifestyle, your sleep, your hormones and your views of yourself and your family. It's not surprising that mood swings and feelings of sadness, resentment and self-doubt accompany your delight in your new baby.

Many mothers feel overwhelmed by responsibility—and very, very tired. Such feelings are normal and usually don't last more than a few weeks. However, if your feelings are more than you can cope with, don't hesitate to ask your doctor for help.

New mothers often experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression after their babies are born. This is known as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can develop quickly or over several months. It can occur anytime during the first two years after the baby is born.The intensity of depression varies.

If you consistently experience the following symptoms, you may have postpartum depression:

Feelings of:

  • Anxiety or panic
  • Inadequacy or incompetence
  • Helplessness
  • Numbness
  • Anger
  • Joylessness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inability to sleep
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Constant exhaustion
  • Poor memory
  • Unusual concern for the baby’s safety
  • Lack of attachment to other family members
  • Compulsive need to talk
  • Compulsive counting
  • Difficulty making even simple decisions

Suggested Reading:

"This Isn’t What I Expected," by Kleinman and Raskin

"Postpartum Survival Guide," by A. Dunnawal