Pregnancy and postpartum are a time of significant adjustment for a new mother or birthing parent. Add in the physical stress of pregnancy, recovery of birth, hormonal changes of pregnancy and postpartum, and altered sleep and it is easy to see how pregnancy and postpartum can be a challenging time for well-being. Like pregnancy, the postpartum time can be an especially vulnerable time as families adjust to caring for a newborn.
Postpartum blues (baby blues) is normal, affecting most new mothers and birthing parents in the first 2-3 weeks after delivery (Mayo Clinic, 2020). You may find yourself crying easily, feeling very exhausted, irritable, or emotionally vulnerable. Taking time to rest and take care of yourself can help minimize the baby blues.
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety:
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety are common. Affecting 15-20% of new mothers and birthing parents (Postpartum Support International (PSI), 2020), postpartum depression and/or anxiety may occur at any time during the first year after delivery. Some experience low mood/ depression or anxiety during pregnancy, while others may develop low mood or anxiety after delivery (PSI, 2020). If you have questions about your well-being, a good place to turn is your doctor or midwife. Depression and anxiety are treatable and the sooner you get help for yourself, the easier it will be to recover (ACOG,2018).
As a parent, it is vital that you take good care of yourself during pregnancy and while caring for your baby.
See Mothers & Birthing Parents for tips on stress-relief.
ACOG committee opinion no. 735. (2018). Obstetrics & Gynecology, 131(5), e130-e139. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002632
Mayo Clinic. (2020). Postpartum depression. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617
Postpartum Support International. (2020). Pregnancy and postpartum support overview. Retrieved from https://www.postpartum.net/learn-more/pregnancy-postpartum-mental-health/
In case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room. NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE: 988