Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

Everyone thinks of birth as a time of intense happiness — and deep down, it is. But, for as many as 75% of women, the postpartum time can also be filled with sadness, anxiety, and other symptoms. In fact, these symptoms are so common that they've even earned the nickname “baby blues.”

Fortunately, for most women, these feelings are fleeting, vanishing once her hormone levels have stabilized and her new daily routine has been established. But for about 15% of women, the baby blues develop into something much more serious: postpartum depression, an emotional disorder that can wreak havoc on her life.

Our team at Bowman Medical Group helps women in Beverly Hills, California, regain control of their lives, their thoughts, and their emotional wellness, using a patient-centered approach based on each woman’s unique needs. If you’re worried you might be suffering from postpartum depression, here’s what we want you to know.

The difference between baby blues and postpartum depression

Both baby blues and postpartum depression cause similar symptoms, such as: 

But there are a couple of key differences. 

Baby blues

First, baby blues is a temporary condition that resolves over time, typically within the first couple of weeks after delivery. In these instances, the symptoms are driven mainly by the dramatic shift in hormones that occurs after pregnancy. This shift can also be compounded by anxiety over the sudden new responsibilities and lack of sleep. 

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is driven by the same factors, but it lasts much longer — sometimes for a year or more. In addition to the symptoms listed above, postpartum depression is also associated with symptoms like:

Some mothers may have problems caring for their new baby or for themselves, and they may find it hard to bond with their child. Furthermore, they may think about harming themselves or their newborn, or they may wish the baby had never been born. Not surprisingly, these thoughts can lead to tremendous feelings of guilt and failure and drive the depression even deeper.

Treating postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a serious medical problem that can take a dramatic toll on a woman’s well-being. Because many women have a sense of guilt about what they’re feeling, they may not seek help right away. But asking for help is the fastest way to manage symptoms and feel better. What’s more, treatment for postpartum depression has a successful track record.

Treatment begins with a comprehensive psychological assessment aimed at understanding all the factors at play. That includes reviewing your symptoms, your personal and family medical histories, and your lifestyle and personal factors. 

Then, our team works with you to develop a plan focused on relieving your symptoms and your anxieties, so you can feel happy and confident again. Depending on your needs, your treatment may include:

Many women benefit from a combination of approaches tailored to their unique symptoms and circumstances.

Get help for your postpartum symptoms

Postpartum depression isn’t something to feel guilty about or ashamed of, and it’s not your fault. Like any type of depression, postpartum depression involves a complex set of causes that need professional treatment. 

If you’re struggling with feelings of sadness or anxiety following the birth of a child, don’t put off getting the care you need. To schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team, call 310-982-7003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.

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