Having a baby is one of the most exciting times of a woman’s life. But with it comes a lot of hormonal changes, a lot of unknowns and worries and that can lead to postpartum depression.
There are a lot of levels of postpartum depression. About 80% of women experience postpartum blues or baby blues. Of those women,14% experience postpartum depression. And of that 14%, 1% will experience postpartum psychosis.
It’s important for pregnant women to know the difference.
“The baby blues are kind of like PMS,” explains Doula Pauline Mills with University Medical Center. “You’re kind of moody and you have good days and you have bad days. That’s directly associated with the hormonal changes in your body. Your body says ‘oh my goodness I’m not pregnant anymore’ and I’ve got to rush back and change levels. The depression and psychosis is a chemical imbalance and it’s very important that you get help.”
Mills says signs of depression and psychosis include:
- You don’t want to get out of bed
- You’re not interested in feeding your baby or seeing family or friends
- Decreased appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
- More bad days than good day
The depression and psychosis is what worries doctors the most. But Mills says it usually doesn’t get to that point and it’s the most curable thing postpartum. The best thing for moms is to call your doctor right away if you notice any of the signs or feel out of sorts.
It’s easy to get help before it gets bad.