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It's not just the "Baby Blues"

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So, as a therapist who works with postpartum moms, I cringe a little when I hear a comment like "That mom just has a case of the blues." Okay, if I'm being completely honest, I do a whole lot more than cringe....I get pretty mad! And here is why...

The baby blues and postpartum depression are two completely different things!

When you tell a mom who is suffering with postpartum depression that she has "the blues" it minimizes her experience. It can also prevent her from reaching out and getting the help she desperately needs. When you tell a mom "It's only the blues", she hears "suck it up, all moms go through this." And she thinks, "What's wrong with me that I can't handle this?"

Okay, I will get off my soap box now. Promise.

So what, then, are the baby blues?

Good question!

The baby blues are very real and impact 80% of new moms. Typically a new mom will start to experience symptoms a week or so after delivery. Symptoms include: tearfulness, irritability, anxiety,  and feeling overwhelmed. A new mom may feel this way for 2-3 weeks and then the symptoms self-resolve, they go away on their own.

So, how is that different than postpartum depression?

Another good question!

Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 new moms. It is the most common complication of childbirth! Symptoms most often start 2-3 weeks following delivery, and peak around month 2 or 3. However, symptoms of postpartum depression can start anytime within the first year after having a baby. Common symptoms include feeling sad, crying, loss of appetite, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, anger or irritability.

The good news? With help these conditions are very treatable. The quicker the symptoms are addressed, the quicker the new mom will feel better. If someone you know is suffering through postpartum depression, encourage them to talk to their doctor or see a therapist who has specialized training in maternal mental health. There are also local support groups that a mom can attend.  A great resource to find help in your area is Postpartum Support International.

If you know a new mom that is struggling, tell her that she does not need to suffer in silence! She is not alone, and with help she will get better! 

Read other posts about this topic here.

Hummingbird Study for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can effect 1 out of 7 new moms. If you recently had a baby and you are feeling anxious, sad, or irritable, or perhaps you are crying a lot, you could be suffering from  postpartum depression or anxiety. 

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The good news? There is help out there. I wanted to share with you today a study that is having  good results treating women with postpartum depression. The Hummingbird Study is a research study evaluating an investigational medication in women with moderate to severe postpartum depression.

You may qualify for the study if you meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  1. You are between 18 to 45 years old
  2. You gave birth within the last 6 months
  3. You frequently feel extremely sad, anxious or overwhelmed and these symptoms are associated with postpartum depression

If you qualify, and decide you want to participate in the study, you will receive 24-hour medical care and support for your postpartum depression during the 3-day, in-patient period. All study-related medical care and medication provided at no cost.

If you would like more information, or to see if you qualify for the study, please visit www.thehummingbirdstudy.com or call  (844) 901-0101.

The New Moms Support Group Has a NEW DATE

Every month I lead a support group for pregnant and postpartum moms in collaboration with Northstar Support and the Happiest Doula. Starting in February we will meet on the 2nd Friday of the month from 10am- 11:30am at Intown Midwifery. 

Having a baby can be a beautiful and wonderful experience, but it can also be a challenging time for new or expecting mothers. Self-care during this time is so important! Attending a support group can be one of many ways for a new mom to connect with other moms and feel that they are not alone on this journey.

More information at www.jaimefillercounseling.com

Jaime Filler, LMFT, facilitates a Postpartum Support Group the Second Friday of the month at Intown Midwifery.

Jaime Filler, LMFT, facilitates a Postpartum Support Group the Second Friday of the month at Intown Midwifery.