Overcoming Baby Blues

By Meghan Bailey on Nov 7, 2017

The birth of your child is one of the most joyous and exciting times in a woman's life, but following the birth of your baby, it is estimated that around 80 percent of women will experience some level of postpartum depression. 

Unfortunately, our society still has a stigma of shame associated with a mother who has postpartum depression. Some argue that one million women per year struggle from some form of postpartum symptoms. In a perfect world, this is okay because there are professionals who can treat each disorder. However, a study shows that only 15 percent of women receive professional treatment, which leaves more than 800,000 women each year helpless.

Dr. Sonia Ceballos, a board certified OB/GYN with WellHealth, A DaVita Medical Group, says, "many mothers commonly experience what is referred to as 'baby blues,' and that is normal because of high hormonal fluctuation that occurs after childbirth. However, it is when those symptoms intensify and begin to last longer that it becomes worrisome." She also added, "when a new mother comes in for her postpartum checkup we are trained to look beyond traditional 'baby blues,' to make sure the mother isn't showing signs of postpartum depression, which when left untreated, is not safe for the mother or the child."

Postpartum depression and postpartum blues are different, and while one can have more of a significant effect, they are both critical to understand and recognize whether in yourself or a family member. 

"I personally believe it is important for people to know what postpartum is; this is the only way they can help end the stigma. People don't educate themselves before they have an opinion on a topic," said Meghan Bailey. "I was in shock, disbelief that I made a child, and with the additional health problems he had, I felt an immense amount of guilt that somehow I caused it by doing everything wrong. I researched my feelings, talked to my husband and ultimately talked to my doctor. But, not everyone has the mindset to get help when something is wrong because of judgment and shame, and that needs to change." 

By opening your mind and being highly vigilant about any warning signs you see in yourself and others, you can pocket mom-shaming tendencies and help. Know the causes of postpartum and symptoms to look out for.  

Postpartum blues symptoms occur in up to 80 percent of women who just gave birth. With fluctuating hormones, you may see or experience anxiety, sadness, lack of concentration, appetite problems, trouble sleeping or mood swings. The onset of postpartum blues usually occurs three to five days after the child is born, and usually subside within a few weeks. 

If a loved one or friend is exhibiting signs of a postpartum illness, it is crucial to speak to them in a nonjudgmental, supportive manner that allows them to feel loved and cared for. 

You're not alone

Download a resource guide at  ppdsilencesucks.com, or talk to a trusted loved one or your doctor. If you feel like you are going to harm yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately for support and help.

Postpartum Depression Signs & Symptoms

  • Specific fears such as thoughts of harming yourself or the child
  • Depressed mood
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Thoughts of worthlessness, shame or guilt

While many of these symptoms can be classified as postpartum blues, if they don't subside and become more intense and last longer, it is time to ask for help.