The “Baby Blues”
The “baby blues” can happen in the days right after childbirth and normally go away in a few days to a week. A new mother can have sudden mood swings, sadness, crying spells, loss of appetite and sleeping problems. She may also feel irritable, restless, anxious and lonely. Symptoms generally are not severe and treatment usually is not needed.
There are some things you can do to help deal with the baby blues:
- Nap when the baby does.
- Request help from your spouse, family members and friends.
- Join a support group for new moms or talk with other moms.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of liquids
- Weather permitting, take walks.
- Get out and do something you enjoy.
About one in 10 new mothers experiences some degree of post-partum depression. These complications can start weeks after delivery and occur even a year later. Unlike the baby blues, post-partum depression may require talking to a professional and/or medication.
Post-partum depression symptoms include:
- Feelings of Hopelessness or Depression
- Disturbances in Sleep and/or Appetite
- Uncontrollable Crying
- Lack of Interest in the Baby
- Fear of Harming the Baby or Yourself
- Mood Swings – Highs and Lows
In rare cases a woman may develop post-partum psychosis, a very serious disease. Post-partum psychosis includes the symptoms of post-partum depression, along with thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby.
If you experience these symptoms, talk with your doctor immediately.
If you think you’re suffering from the “baby blues”, post-partum depression or post-partum psychosis, you’re not alone. Help is available.
Contact any one of these resources:
- Call your doctor.
- The Hospital of Central Connecticut Family BirthPlace Love Line: 860.224.LOVE (5683).
- The Hospital of Central Connecticut Social Work Department: 860.224.5125.
- The Hospital of Central Connecticut Emergency Department: 100 Grand St., New Britain, or 81 Meriden Ave., Southington. Crisis services available 24 hours a day.
- The Hospital of Central Connecticut Outpatient Clinic: 860.224.5261, (9am-4pm).
- The Hospital of Central Connecticut Counseling Center: 860.224.5804.
- Wheeler Clinic Mobile Crisis unit: 860.747.3434.
- Infoline: 211.
For more information on post-partum depression visit: www.postpartum.net and/or www.postpartumhealth.com.