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When The Baby Blues Won't Go Away

Life with a new baby is not always what you expect. The birth or adoption of a baby can bring physical, emotional and social changes. Adjustment to new roles and relationships is not always easy.

 

About 4 out of 5 mothers will experience the baby blues

This is normal and can start in the first week after the baby is born. With good physical care and emotional support, you will usually feel better within two weeks. Talk with your partner, healthcare professional or someone you trust about your feelings.

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorders are common

Up to 20% of women experience postpartum depression after having a baby. Anxiety disorders are also very common. You are not alone. Partners and children can struggle too. It can affect anyone in the family!

 

You may...

  • Feel sad or numb
  • Be tearful or cry a lot
  • Feel exhausted, but not able to sleep
  • Have changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Feel overwhelmed and can’t concentrate
  • Feel anxious or can’t stop worrying 
  • Seek constant reassurance from others or the internet
  • Have no interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feel hopeless or worthless
  • Feel restless, irritable or angry
  • Feel guilty and ashamed
  • Avoid spending time with family and friends
  • Have thoughts of hurting yourself or others

If your symptoms continue or get worse, speak to your healthcare professional. 

 

What you can do?

  • Rest when baby sleeps.
  • Get a minimum of 7-8 hours total of sleep.
  • Eat healthy food several times a day.
  • Go for a walk at least 3-4 times a week.
  • Accept help from family and friends.
  • Let someone you trust take care of the baby once in a while.
  • Make time for yourself.
  • Limit the time you spend with people who make you feel anxious or sad.
  • Reach out to your healthcare professional to talk about what help and treatment options are available.
  • Don't Wait, Get Help
    .
 
Date of creation: December 1, 2017
Last modified on: February 23, 2018
 
 

References

1BC Reproductive Mental Health Program. (2014). Best practice guidelines for mental health disorders in the perinatal period. Retrieved from
http://www.perinatalservicesbc.ca/Documents/Guidelines-Standards/Maternal/MentalHealthDisordersGuideline.pdf
2Canadian Pediatric Society. (2017, March). Depression in pregnant women and mothers: How it affects you and your child. Retrieved from
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/depression_in_pregnant_women_and_mothers
3Government of Canada. (2016, May 26). Depression during pregnancy. Retrieved from
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/pregnancy/depression-during-pregnancy.html
4Haensel, H., & Parkinson, S. (2017). Mothering the mother: Caring for mother’s mental health to optimize infant attachment and development. [PowerPoint slides].
5Haring, M., Smith, J. E., Bodnar, D., Misri, S., Little, R. M., & Ryan, D. (2013). Coping with anxiety during pregnancy and following the birth: A cognitive behavior therapy-based self-management guide for women and health care providers. Retrieved from
http://www.cw.bc.ca/library/pdf/BCRMH_AnxietyGuide_final.pdf