Post partum depression can occur within the first week after childbirth. Feelings of sadness, loss or changes in appetite, having trouble concentrating or feeling withdrawn are all part of the baby blues and normal during the first two weeks after childbirth. Majority of women experience baby blues after childbirth.

Women with post partum depression may feel increased sadness, loneliness or exhaustion that runs deeper and last longer than 2 weeks.

Those emotional surges are the natural effect of hormones shifting, this occurs with pregnancy and childbirth. Levels of estrogen and progesterone that are increased during pregnancy suddenly drop after delivery causing mood changes. Thyroid levels can also drop causing fatigue and may lead to depression. Usually your hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels within 1-2 weeks.

Treatment for post partum depression often includes therapy, medication or both. Please let your doctor know if you are still breast feeding if medication is being prescribed.

Having good social support from family, friends or co-workers may help reduce the seriousness of post partum depression. Let family and friends help you with errands, childcare and household chores if offered. Accept help and talk to someone about your feelings. Getting proper rest, nutrition and support are important.

Common baby blues symptoms

  • Not feeling attached, interested or bonded with your baby
  • Loss of appetite or changes in appetite
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Having trouble concentrating or completing routine tasks

If the above symptoms persist for over two weeks or include any of the symptoms below, please contact our office immediately.

Post partum depression can occur during the first week after childbirth.

Post partum depression symptoms

  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Feeling agitated or irritated all the time
  • Loss of appetite or changes in appetite
  • Having trouble concentrating or completing routine tasks
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

These simple lifestyle changes can help you feel like yourself again.

  • Get as much sleep as you can
  • Set aside quality time for yourself and your partner
  • Make meals a priority
  • Ease back into exercise
  • Don't keep your feelings to yourself
  • Keep a diary write your emotions and thoughts down
  • Give yourself credit for the things you did accomplish, remember you can't get everything done so don't be hard on yourself. No one expects you to be supermom.

Use social and family support if you can, accept help whenever offered, get as much rest as you can and talk to someone about your feelings.

Reach out to your physician if symptoms occur in the first week after childbirth.