Postnatal/Post Partum Depression

What is the difference between the Baby Blues, so common a few days after delivery, and Postnatal Depression?

The Baby Blues frequently show up as mood swings. Mom is weepy one moment and happy the next. The new mother may have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. These blues often hit around the third day after delivery. The cause is thought to be the sudden drop in the mother's hormone levels after the baby is born. Usually this lasts no more than a couple of days, or a week or two at most.

Postnatal depression is a more serious condition, recognised as a form of clinical depression. It can come on any time in the first six months after giving birth. Because the mother herself often does not recognise what is happening to her, it is important that family members are aware of the changes in her mood. This condition can be treated with medication and support. If you think your daughter or daughter-in-law might be suffering from PND, please make sure that she sees her family doctor or a professional counsellor.

A support group for women with Postpartum depression can be very helpful.The following is the website of an international organization which can put you in touch with local groups all over the world.

Postpartum Support International

Disclaimer: This page provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Please consult your own family physician for more information and guidance on this subject.

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