Many women, up to 80%, will experience what is commonly referred to as the "baby blues" after giving birth. One out of every eight to ten women will experience a more severe form of the baby blues known as PPD. Researchers believe that PPD is caused by the rapid hormonal changes that occur just after birth.
How do you differentiate between the baby blues and PPD? The baby blues are more commonly associated with a short term sense of sadness after birth, usually lasting for no more than 2 weeks. It is normal after the excitement of pregnancy and the drama of birth for women to feel slightly blue and even let down. PPD is much more serious, and sometimes doesn't kick in until a few weeks after delivery.
There are several warning signs that patients should look for if they suspect PPD.
Warning Signs of PPD:
- Constantly feeling restless
- Irritability that doesn't fade day after day
- Feelings of sadness that last more than a few hours or one day
- Frequent and inexplicable crying
- Persistent lack of energy
- Inability to sleep despite fatigue
- Weight loss or weight gain that is extreme
- Feelings or fears that you will harm the baby
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Excessive anger
- Lack of interest in your newborn
- Intrusive thoughts