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The Postpartum Blog

Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

There is no doubt that a woman's body goes through a lot when she has a baby. Whether the birth is vaginal or done by caesarian section, physical recovery takes time, patience, and rest. The physical changes are obviousbut the emotional and mental changes can be harder to see.

You may have heard “it is normal to feel this way” or “ everyone feels like this after a baby!” Sometimes in the throes of those first days, weeks, and months, you will wonder how true those statements are. Are your feelings "typical?" Is this how everyone feels?

The baby blues are a normal part of having a baby; most moms will feel tearful, irritable, upset, anxious, and worried for up to two weeks after the birth of their baby. However, postpartum depression is different.

What is the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression? 

While the symptoms may look similar, there are several key differences between the blues and postpartum depression:

postpartum depression photo Postpartum Counselling Centre

Duration: any symptoms longer than two weeks need to be assessed. The baby blues do not last longer than 14 days.

Severity of symptoms: If your tearfulness, irritability, exhaustion, or worry is interfering with your ability to enjoy day-to-day things, you need to be assessed for postpartum depression. Additionally, if these feelings seem to persist beyond the moment of tearfulness or irritability and you do not return to feeling like yourself after a symptom flare-up, it is important to be assessed for postpartum depression.

Thoughts of suicide or harm: If you are thinking about dying, harming yourself, or harming anyone else, including your baby, this requires immediate intervention. Thoughts of suicide and harm are not part of the baby blues. The Talk Suicide crisis line can be reached at: 1(833) 456-4566.

Am I the only one with postpartum depression?

While most new moms will experience the baby blues, you certainly are not alone if you suffer from postpartum depression. In Canada, it's estimated that approximately 10% of new mothers are affected by PPD. The statistic is most likely an under-estimation as many women do not seek help.

How can I get help for my mood? 

The Postpartum Counselling Centre can help you by providing specific therapy for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Your doctor may also recommend medication. You do not need a formal diagnosis in order to receive therapy for postpartum depression. If you are not feeling like yourself and you feel that there are lingering symptoms of worry, exhaustion, sadness, and irritability therapy can help. 

We are here when you are ready.

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Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

By: Madeline Wilson, RSW
March 8, 2023

There is no doubt that a woman's body goes through a lot when she has a baby. Whether the birth is vaginal or done by caesarian section, physical recovery takes time, patience, and rest. The physical changes are obviousbut the emotional and mental changes can be harder to see.

You may have heard “it is normal to feel this way” or “ everyone feels like this after a baby!” Sometimes in the throes of those first days, weeks, and months, you will wonder how true those statements are. Are your feelings "typical?" Is this how everyone feels?

The baby blues are a normal part of having a baby; most moms will feel tearful, irritable, upset, anxious, and worried for up to two weeks after the birth of their baby. However, postpartum depression is different.

What is the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression? 

While the symptoms may look similar, there are several key differences between the blues and postpartum depression:

postpartum depression photo Postpartum Counselling Centre

Duration: any symptoms longer than two weeks need to be assessed. The baby blues do not last longer than 14 days.

Severity of symptoms: If your tearfulness, irritability, exhaustion, or worry is interfering with your ability to enjoy day-to-day things, you need to be assessed for postpartum depression. Additionally, if these feelings seem to persist beyond the moment of tearfulness or irritability and you do not return to feeling like yourself after a symptom flare-up, it is important to be assessed for postpartum depression.

Thoughts of suicide or harm: If you are thinking about dying, harming yourself, or harming anyone else, including your baby, this requires immediate intervention. Thoughts of suicide and harm are not part of the baby blues. The Talk Suicide crisis line can be reached at: 1(833) 456-4566.

Am I the only one with postpartum depression?

While most new moms will experience the baby blues, you certainly are not alone if you suffer from postpartum depression. In Canada, it's estimated that approximately 10% of new mothers are affected by PPD. The statistic is most likely an under-estimation as many women do not seek help.

How can I get help for my mood? 

The Postpartum Counselling Centre can help you by providing specific therapy for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Your doctor may also recommend medication. You do not need a formal diagnosis in order to receive therapy for postpartum depression. If you are not feeling like yourself and you feel that there are lingering symptoms of worry, exhaustion, sadness, and irritability therapy can help. 

We are here when you are ready.

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