A while ago, I was approached by some Psychology students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University about how to get information about PPD out to prenatal and postpartum moms and their partners. Their (and MommyMoves Fitness’s) purpose is to further the awareness and education around Baby Blues, PostPartum Depression and Depression among Fathers and Spouses. The following information has been accumulated from a variety of sources and we have provided several links for further education and resources regarding these important issues. This is part 1 in a 3 part series.
Are You Singing the Blues?
Life can be challenging after having a baby.Â Do you feel tired, anxious, or sad?Â Many women feel this way.Â These feelings may be related to Baby Blues.Â But what are Baby Blues? How common are they? What should you do if you think you have Baby Blues?
Baby Blues refers to a series of features that begins within a few days after giving birth and can last up to two weeks.
The typical features of Baby Blues include:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Decreased mood
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Mental and physical tiredness
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Anxiety
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Sleep disturbances
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Irritability
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Tearfulness
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Feeling emotional, such as highs and lows that can change rapidly
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Headaches
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Confusion
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Decreased concentration
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Decreased appetite
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Absent mindedness
These features can affect up to 85% of new mothers.Â If you feel this way you are not alone.
There is no suggested treatment for Baby Blues because of the short duration of the features.Â However, a great way to reduce the feelings associated with Baby Blues is to form a great support network.Â Connect with other mothers on the MommyMoves blog or join a support group.
Remember! These feelings should pass within two weeks.Â If these feelings persist for longer than two weeks, you should speak to your doctor as it may reflect a more serious condition called Post Partum Depression.
More than Just the Baby Blues?
Post Partum Depression is a relatively frequent condition that affects approximately 11-20% of women worldwide.Â Sometimes intense anxiety and panic felt during pregnancy can evolve into Post Partum Depression.Â Post Partum Depression is a common and potentially debilitating condition that is characterized by feelings of:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Anxiety
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Depressed mood
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Feelings of guilt
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Feelings of panic
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Lack of interest in once pleasurable activities
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Lack of interest in your baby
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Loss of appetite
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Feeling disconnected with others
These symptoms can occur soon after your baby is born, or even up to a few months later.
The next post will deal with causes, treatments and resources available for women with PPD and their partners.