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After delivery, many women experience baby blues. The onset is usually within three to four days after delivery; symptoms typically subside within two weeks. These symptoms are believed to be caused by the sudden shift in hormones following delivery and the exhaustion and sleep deprivation that often accompanies the delivery and your role as a parent.
The symptoms of the baby blues may include, but are not limited to:
The symptoms, while unappealing, shouldn't be severe or intense. Symptoms that persist beyond two to three weeks after delivery may be an indication of postpartum depression; consult your physician promptly.
This is a type of major depression that affects an estimated one out of 10 new mothers. This depression can occur anytime within the first year after delivery, but the onset is usually within the first six weeks. Unlike the baby blues, the symptoms of postpartum depression will be severe, affect your well-being and disrupt your ability to function. You won't be able to resolve these feelings without intervention. If you experience any of the additional symptoms below, notify your doctor immediately:
It's important that you communicate and not feel embarrassed or ashamed of postpartum depression. It is treatable.