Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression: More common than you think.

September 7th, 2017

By: Laura Rice, MS, Paper Cranes Healthcare Wellness Center

“I love quotes”. They can put life into perspective pretty quickly. They can reflect your feelings quite accurately. They can help you find the strength or comfort you may need. They can provide the wisdom that you may be searching for. They can provide a necessary affirmation. They are discussion points and poetic jump-starts for our mind and heart.  Quotes can make you burst out laughing which may be the best medicine at that precise moment. I came across the following quote by Linda Wooten when I was searching for “Motherhood Quotes”. It spoke to me and I believe it is an important quote to begin this blog about the “Baby Blues”.

Being a Mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed”.

Motherhood is much more than Wooten’s quote. Every mother provides their unique, individual meaning to Motherhood, but I feel this quote depicts an extraordinary common truth among all mothers. The dark, unflattering, heart wrenching moments and possible themes of motherhood are not mentioned when a woman is expecting. Most likely, the upcoming birth is celebrated, prepared and anticipated. Postpartum, women are then left to continue the celebration while demonstrating perfect mothering and optimal self care while balancing homes, school, relationships and careers.  The birth of a baby may bring on dark, unflattering, heart wrenching moments that an individual is not prepared for,  all while dealing with hormonal changes that are substantially altering to her being. Mothers do find  new strengths and face un-encountered fears, however some days this may feel quite challenging and impossible. The challenge is overwhelming when “baby blues” or postpartum emotional changes set in.

Baby Blues typically sets in within the first 6 weeks postpartum and may last a few hours to a few weeks with sadness and weepiness. 50-80% of mothers experience the “baby blues”.  While 11-20% of mothers experience a form of postpartum depression. The presentation of postpartum depression does not look identical in all women. It may present with  anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.  As you can see, the experience of emotional struggles after a little” bundle of joy” is born is quite common, yet a majority of women report that they feel “they are the only ones suffering”.  

What can you do?

  • Talk honestly with your doctor.
  • Rely on supports that are available. For instance, “say yes to help offered and ask when you need to”
  • Get the best rest you can…….try for a good block of sleep at night and nap when your baby does. Sleep Deprivation can be your biggest enemy at this time in your life.
  • Avoid isolation…get out with your baby and enjoy some social groups or outings
  • do not compare yourself to others
  • commend your strengths and positive moments each day

If you or someone you know is experiencing postpartum depression, it is important to talk with your doctor. The support of counseling or a support group can be a vital instrument to overcoming the postpartum depression.

Paper Cranes Healthcare offers weekly Postpartum Support Groups at our Chandler and Queen Creek offices. Feel free to call 480-704-3474 or check out our website for more information:  www.papercraneshealthcare.com

Lastly, let’s finish with a quote:

“Some days I amaze myself Other days i put the laundry in the oven.”  ~Creativebrandista.com

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