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Understanding the Baby Blues and Depression

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mother in chair looking sad

About 50% to 70% of moms find that they come down with the baby blues a few days after their baby is born. If you thought you'd be overjoyed after the birth of your newborn and are surprised at how you're feeling, you're not alone. But what is “baby blues”?

What Is ‘Baby Blues’?

The baby blues happen about the same time your milk comes in. They can be caused by a hormone crash when your body is recovering from the chemical high of childbirth.

Other reasons could be sheer physical exhaustion or even feeling anxious about being responsible for your newborn. Other moms feel let down after their pregnancy is over, which could contribute to the baby blues.

Is It Postpartum Depression?

The baby blues are normal and not the same as postpartum depression. The baby blues will only last for a couple of days, while postpartum depression can last for months. If it seems like your baby blues aren't disappearing after a few hours or a few days, talk to your healthcare provider about getting help.

What Do Experts Say About the Baby Blues?

Experts agree that many moms feel like they're the only ones suffering from the baby blues. If you're feeling like you should be happy and blissful all the time, you're not alone. Talk to your friends and be honest about how you're feeling. Chances are good that your friends will confess that they've been feeling the same things.

Many moms put on a happy face regarding the baby blues, but you don't know what's going on behind closed doors. Consider recording small achievements, such as simply taking a shower, drying your hair or going for a walk. Eventually, you'll find that it's easy to function on a regular basis and you'll soon forget these sad feelings.

Take the first days of motherhood just a minute at a time. Remember, the golden rule of motherhood -- “this too shall pass.”

 
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