Seek Help for the Baby Blues

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Becoming a parent can be a difficult transition, for both partners.

Postpartum Mood Disorder is a term that is used to describe a range of mental health symptoms.

About 50 to 80 percent of women have postpartum blues or “baby blues” the first two weeks after a baby is born. Keep in mind that your body has just gone through a large amount of stress. Hormones are regulating, and you are transitioning into parenthood.

After the first couple of weeks, many women feel symptoms of depression and heightened levels of anxiety and worry. The most common scenarios include worrying about something happening to the baby, her partner, or herself.

Her partner may also experience symptoms of postpartum mood disorder. In fact, studies suggest that if a woman is experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, her partner is 50 percent more likely to have their own symptoms.

One in 10 men will experience symptoms of postpartum blues — most commonly depression and/or anxiety.

Men, however, often don’t experience these symptoms until four to six months after the baby’s birth. Signs include:

  • Being quick to anger
  • Working longer hours
  • Experiencing more physical symptoms, such as headache or stomach pains
  • Avoiding activities/hobbies that they were once interested in

Having a new baby adds extra stress to the relationship. Many describe a decrease in marital or relationship satisfaction during the first year after a baby is born. With that in mind, it is important to:

  • Communicate needs to one another
  • Engage in self-care
  • Find time to participate in activities of interest together, and separately
  • Access professional support when necessary
  • Find ways to connect with other new parents, family, and friends

If you are struggling to manage your mental health after the birth of your new baby, call 811 or the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 or your local Addiction & Mental Health office for support. Help is available.