The Difference Between “Baby Blues” and Postpartum Depression
No matter how you delivered your baby—vaginal, natural, Cesarean, or VBAC—recovering after birth can be both physically and emotionally challenging. It’s normal to feel a mix of exhaustion, irritability, sadness, and anxiety during the first couple weeks after childbirth. But how do you know if you have a simple case of the “baby blues” or something more serious like postpartum depression?
Feeling the “Baby Blues”
After giving birth, your body and hormone levels change rapidly. Caring for your newborn can be overwhelming and leave you feeling any of the following symptoms:
Crying for no reason
Feelings of disappointment
The “baby blues” will usually go away soon after they start without treatment. If your symptoms feel more severe or you find it increasingly difficult to cope with daily tasks, you may have postpartum depression.
Suffering from Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a moderate to severe form of depression following childbirth that can affect your ability to care for yourself and family. The symptoms are more extreme than the “baby blues” and can include any of the following:
Sadness and hopelessness
Feeling overly anxious
Poor concentration, confusion, or difficulty remembering details
Resentment and extreme mood swings
Over-attentiveness or lack of interest in newborn
Feelings of isolation and withdrawal from others
A fear of harming the newborn or yourself
Due to the range of symptoms, only a healthcare provider can diagnose you with postpartum depression.