Emotional Well Being After Giving Birth

Sometimes right after childbirth you may feel sad or moody.  Many moms
experience postpartum distress to some degree.

The mildest form of this is called the "baby blues" and it usually appears
between two days and two weeks after the baby is born. 
This condition is temporary and usually brief. 
Experts consider some degree of postpartum distress to be a normal occurrence.

Here are some symptoms to look for:

lack of connection with the baby
crying for no apparent reason
low self-esteem and lack of confidence

Seeing your healthcare provider is a good idea if you experience these
symptoms and feel you are experiencing some form of postpartum distress.

Postpartum Depression (PPD)

As mentioned earlier, the "baby blues" is the mildest form of postpartum
distress.  However, a more serious condition is Postpartum Depression (PPD)
and it affects about ten percent of all new mothers.  In this form the symptoms
are more intense and last longer.  One way to distinguish between the two is
to look at the mom's sleep patterns.  If she is able to sleep, it is usually the baby blues. 
If not, due to anxiety, it could very well be PPD.

PPD can occur from two weeks to one year after childbirth.  A mother may
experience any of the above symptoms along with feelings of anger, panic,
confusion and even hopelessness.  Eating and sleeping may be affected and
she may feel that she is losing her mind or feel that she could hurt herself
or her baby.   In this case, the mom may be experiencing the
most serious form of postpartum distress called Postpartum Psychosis.

Coping with the Problem

One key thing to do before the baby is born is to set up a support system.
If you surround yourself with friends and family who are willing and available to help,
it will make a big difference.

Most communities offer  local centers and programs that are free of charge to new mothers. 

Just having someone to talk to, or being in a group with other women who are experiencing the same thing is beneficial. 

Sharing your thoughts and feelings with each other is helpful.

Drinking lots of water and getting out and doing some form of exercise will
also help.