What Are The Postpartum Blues?

Dr. Elise Balaisis, MD, discusses What Are The Postpartum Blues?

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Dr. Elise Balaisis, MD, discusses What Are The Postpartum Blues?
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC
Video Title: What Are The Postpartum Blues?
Duration: 2 minutes 42 seconds

So postpartum depression can be divided really into postpartum depression and postpartum blues.

We call this postpartum blues; it gets its own term even though it's not a disease per se. It affects almost 80 percent of women. It's very, very common, and usually it comes on between day 3 and day 14 so within the first two weeks of pregnancy. So postpartum blues is when the estrogens and the hormones really drop off after pregnancy, and there's this huge emotional roller coaster that happens.

Many women are very tearful and can be more irritable and just very up and down all the time. This can be distinguished from postpartum depression by the severity of things. So usually in postpartum depression, it doesn't necessarily have to just be tearfulness, but oftentimes you're feeling down and very tearful, very emotional.

Sometimes it can present just as anxiety and overwhelming concern about the baby, overwhelming worries, difficulty coping, difficult with relationships, difficulty sleeping, and it's usually when itÆs gotten to the point that things are just a lot more difficult to manage in life. So most women recover from the postpartum blues gradually.

As they're getting more sleep, they're getting a lot more support, and usually that's all that women with postpartum blues need, is they need more support and more sleep in order to be able to manage everything with their new baby and their new life. With postpartum depression, this can go on if it's not recognized or treated appropriately, and the mood can go further down and anxiety can creep up over time.

So it's really important to be able to identify this, and if you're having concerns to discuss this with your care provider in order to get treatment. There are a lot of treatment options that are safe and available and can really help, and these things don't always include medications, but they can include medications that are also safe.

Some other things can be supportive counseling, seeing a therapist, and these things can really help to ameliorate the mood and help recover from the depression and get back to enjoying your new life with your new baby. If you have any questions or concerns about postpartum blues or depression, please contact your care provider or physician.

Presenter: Dr. Elise Balaisis, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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