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Postpartum Depression: When the Baby Blues Turn Grey

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Postpartum Depression: When the Baby Blues Turn Grey
Feeling down post delivery is not your fault!

While “The Baby Blues” are transient (lasting less than 2 weeks) and mild, per Dr. Bennett, PPD lasts longer than two weeks and is severe enough to affect a mother’s daily functioning.  

While anyone can get PPD, factors that can increase a mother’s risk include:

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  • History of psychiatric illness

  • History of PMS or PMD

  • Mood changes from birth control, which can indicate a sensitivity to hormone shifts

  • Isolation, poor partner support

Related: Is Crying Out Dangerous for Kids?

How is PPD Treated?

Dr. Bennett recommends an “individualized wellness strategy” that includes:

  • “Chunks of uninterrupted nighttime sleep – even breastfeeding mothers can get these if they’re willing to pump and somebody else on duty gives the bottle.”

  • Nutrition: “Nibbling protein every 3 hours or so keeps the blood sugar even.”  

  • Exercise

  • Physical support  (someone to give you a break)

  • Emotional support

  • Hydration

  • Time in the sunlight

  • Speaking with a specialist who understands perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

  • Realistic expectations:  Dr. Bennett advises throwing out myths such as, “This is the best time of my life”, “I shouldn’t have needs”, and, “Breastfeeding is wonderful.” A more realistic thought?:  “This is bootcamp.”

  • Prevention:  Have a plan of action in place before the baby comes.  Know, for example, who’s going to be available to help. 

Having a baby is life-changing.  Change, while it can be wonderful, is challenging for everyone.  Knowing what to expect and enlisting support and help can make change – even changing, say the “poopiest” of diapers, easier and happier.  

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