The arrival of a baby is like no other experience in life. As a new mother, you will feel joy, fear, confusion, exhaustion and love. There is also an expected adjustment to the demands of new schedules, routines and the requirements of newborn care. The intensity of feelings after having a child can include impatience, irritability and crying. During the first few days and weeks after giving birth, this is commonly referred to as the “baby blues.” Symptoms, as mentioned above, typically come and go quickly throughout the day and generally do not impact your ability to perform everyday tasks and activities.
The most well know perinatal mood and anxiety disorder is postpartum depression. Symptoms can include those listed above, but are more severe and intense and generally do not pass quickly. It is important to discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing with your health care provider (either your OB or your child’s pediatrician) as soon as they appear, so that proper treatment can be arranged. Symptoms of postpartum depression are not signs of weakness or inadequacy, but stem from the emotional and physical adjustments of pregnancy and birth.
For further information, contact Postpartum Support International (PSI) at: 1-800-944-4PPD (4773) or http://www.postpartum.net/Get-Help.aspx
In a crisis or emergency situation, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room.