As the mom of a newborn, you face a lot of challenges dealing with new responsibilities. In addition, you may get the “baby blues”, which commonly includes feeling a little sad, empty or worried along with crying spells and difficulty sleeping. As many as 80% of moms have these feelings for a week or two following childbirth.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Some moms have similar but more intense and long-lasting feelings known as postpartum depression, which occurs in about 15% of moms. While some of the feelings sound the same, postpartum depression is different from the baby blues. Signs of postpartum depression vary from mom to mom and even day to day, and may include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Excessive crying
  • Severe mood swings
  • Find it hard to enjoy things
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming exhaustion or loss of energy
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Feeling worthless and guilty about your feelings
  • Difficulty concentrating or making simple decisions

Signs of Postpartum Anxiety

On the other hand, if you’re feeling overly worried, out of control, on edge most of the time, you may have feelings of postpartum anxiety which also affects 10-15% of moms. In fact, about half of moms who have postpartum depression will also experience postpartum anxiety. Some common signs of postpartum anxiety are:

  • Constant or excessive worry
  • Feelings of fear about what will happen
  • Racing thoughts and/or lack of concentration
  • Trouble sleeping at times when your baby’s sleeping
  • Rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sweating and/or shakiness

There is help.

Your friends and family may notice that you’re withdrawing from them, or that you just don’t seem like yourself. Feelings of postpartum depression and/or anxiety can make it difficult for you to care for yourself or your baby. You may worry that you’ll be seen as a bad mother. Any mom can have these feelings. It does not mean that you are a bad mom.

There is help. Our Nurture® Program mentors can provide a very short, easy-to-use survey to initially evaluate your feelings and possibly connect you with people who can help.