If you’re expecting the arrival of a new child then naturally you may have concerns about postpartum depression and baby blues.  So what is the difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues? According to an online publication by Fit Pregnancy approximately 70 percent of new moms suffer from the baby blues which is defined as “a normal short-lived period of feeling sad, weepy or otherwise moody that is triggered by hormonal changes after giving birth.”  Often women feel ashamed by having negative feelings after giving birth because societal pressures dictate women should feel overwhelmed with joy. However, hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone are elevated during pregnancy, and after delivery of the baby and placenta, these hormone levels drop drastically.  This neurological shift can therefore induce feelings associated with the baby blues.  Other factors can also produce a depressive state after delivery and include a traumatic birthing experience, sleep deprivation, a limited support system, or a family history of depression. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Body, M.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program, UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders provides us with an at a glance cheat sheet outlining the characteristics of baby blues and postpartum depression: Baby Blues
  1. You feel weepy (crying “all the time”), emotional and/or profoundly vulnerable. Some women describe it as “very bad PMS,” Meltzer-Brody says.
  2. Your symptoms last about two weeks after giving birth.
  3. You also might experience mood instability, depressed mood, sadness, irritability, anxiety, lack of concentration and/or feelings of dependency.
Postpartum Depression is a more serious condition described by Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody as:
  1. Your symptoms last longer than two weeks after giving birth, are much more severe than baby blues symptoms and interfere with functioning.
  2. You might experience feelings of anxiety, sadness (crying a lot), depression, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or yourself, rumination, obsessions, loss of interest in usual activities, feeling worthless, incompetent or inadequate to cope with your baby, fatigue and/or excessive worry about the baby’s health.
  3. Postpartum depression typically emerges over the first 2-3 months after childbirth but may occur at any point after delivery.
It is important to discuss any questions or concerns regarding baby blues and postpartum depression with your doctor. Your friends at Aeroflow Breastpumps value the health of you and your growing family and although we cannot alleviate symptoms of depression we’d love to help reduce stress in your life where possible.  Have you obtained a breast pump through insurance yet? If not, let the experts at Aeroflow Breastpumps take care of you.  Submit your details by clicking here to see if you qualify for a breast pump through insurance.  Become one of the thousands of highly satisfied mothers who’ve already obtained a breast pump through insurance with Aeroflow Breastpumps.  Submit your information today!