Singing the Baby Blues?
You’ve waited nine long months. Your bundle of joy has finally arrived. It’s the happiest day of your life...almost.
After delivery, 80 percent of all new moms experience mood swings triggered by rapidly dropping hormones and sleep deprivation. These “baby blues,” feelings of worry, unhappiness and fatigue, can last a few hours or as long as two weeks after delivery. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 15 percent of all births, these emotions turn extreme – affecting a woman’s ability to care for herself and her baby. The experts call it postpartum depression.
The most sensationalized, but extremely rare, picture of postpartum depression is a mother harming herself and/or her baby. More typical are:
- Feelings of loss of interest or hopelessness
- Reporting an inability to form an emotional attachment or bond with baby
- Not finding joy in a traditionally joyous time, causing you to feel unworthy or guilty
Talking about these new-mom emotions, changes and challenges with a health care provider is one of the best ways to heal. You’ve waited nine months, don’t wait any longer to enjoy motherhood.