We call it the baby blues because it follows after childbirth. Hormones are crashing, the mother is fatigued, lacks sleep and moods swing like crazy. This fragile emotional state, a sort of mini-depression that is temporary, affects 60-80% of women in the first month after childbirth. The mother can cry, change moods frequently, be impatient or fatigued.
Postpartum depression is when the symptoms aggravate, intensify. The mother may have trouble sleeping, increased or diminished appetite, a feeling of incompetence, a general loss of interest and pleasure for things she loved in the past.
Between 10-15% of new mothers will be diagnosed with postpartum depression, but this is clearly underestimated because many women will hide their symptoms, isolate themselves and refuse to ask for help.
Socially, negative feelings are stigmatised, because mothers are supposed to be happy. This leads to increased feelings of distress and guilt, which makes the new mother even more depressed.
Her support network can make all the difference in helping the new mother cope. Listen without judging, helping her rest, encouraging her, helping around the home – all of this is very important for a new family.
If you need help, it’s there for you!
To learn more:
- the videos Postpartum Depression
- the videos Perinatal Depression
- and Mothers and Recovery Post-Childbirth (french only)
The Baby Expert
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