Transition to motherhood can be stressful and many women experience some difficulty adjusting to their new role. This is true even for the experienced mom. Within the first 2 weeks of childbirth, about 80% of new mothers experience “the baby blues.” New moms with the baby blues have mild sadness and emotional ups and downs. However, if these symptoms persist in duration or worsen in severity, they may be symptoms of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that arises following the birth of a baby and is characterized by persistent sadness and/or loss of pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It can also include changes in eating and/or sleeping habits (more or less), difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness or thoughts of suicide or harm to others.
Call your doctor if you experience persistent sadness/loss of pleasure that:
- Doesn't fade after 2 weeks.
- Gets worse.
- Makes it hard for you to care for your baby.
- Makes it hard to complete everyday tasks.
- Includes thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
- Postpartum Depression National Hotline: 1-800-944-4773
- Wyandotte County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 913-788-4200
- Johnson County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 913-268-0156
- National Postpartum Depression Website: www.postpartumprogress.com