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Baby Blues Vs. Postpartum Depression (And What To Do About Them)

If you’re struggling with your emotions following the birth of your baby, don’t let anyone convince you that it’s stress, hormones, or hysteria. A specialist can diagnose your condition and whether it’s temporary “baby blues” or the more serious postpartum depression. 

At Genesis Psychiatric Solutions, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Ifeanyi Olele provides a range of services, including women's mental health sessions in-office or via telepsychiatry.  

The difference between baby blues and depression 

Feelings of being overwhelmed and unhappy after your baby is born isn’t a new trend. This might last just a week or two, or you might find yourself staring down at your 3-month-old baby wondering why you can’t seem to connect with them. 

Postpartum depression has a long history of being mistaken for mere baby blues. Here’s how to tell when you need to just keep on keeping on and when you need to seek help. 

Baby blues

Baby blues refers to a brief period of low mood following the birth of a child. You might feel fatigued, overwhelmed, anxious, irritable, and sad. 

These mood swings are common in the first few weeks, as your body is restabilizing, and your hormones are all over the place. But your thoughts don’t turn dark or violent, and the mood passes after a few weeks at most. 

Postpartum depression

If your mood fails to stabilize in the weeks following childbirth, it might be the earliest sign of postpartum depression. Baby blues are officially viewed as depression when you continue to feel low, tired, and stressed. During postpartum depression, you may experience: 

When to consult a specialist 

It’s not unusual to become overwhelmed and isolated after giving birth. This is especially true in modern times, as women have access to limited maternal leave, shrinking communities, and fewer resources. 

It takes a village to raise a child, but many new mothers find themselves feeling lonelier than ever.

If your mood swings are short and you’ve recently given birth, give yourself some time and understanding to adjust to your new life. Babies are naturally exhausting and stressful, so try to alleviate your baby blues by bonding with your baby, focusing on yourself, and spending quality time with friends and family. 

If you’re having symptoms that align with postpartum depression, don’t delay seeking help from Dr. Olele. You haven’t done anything wrong, and you definitely don’t need to feel ashamed. 

Dr. Olele can differentiate between baby blues and postpartum depression and can help you find relief from your unhappy thoughts and feelings. You might even benefit from private talk therapy or group counseling with other new mothers. 

Feeling blue? Our team at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions can help you learn more about postpartum depression and get a professional diagnosis. To get in touch, call the location closest to you or request a consultation online. We have locations in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

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