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Mom looking sad with baby in the background

Baby Blues - Postpartum Depression

You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well. These words from CHKD’s Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby postpartum support group say it all. Moms struggling with baby blues or postpartum depression need to know there is someone who understands and is there to help.

If you google the term baby blues, you will see estimates that 70-80 percent of women experience baby blues after giving birth and within a few days of bringing baby home. Symptoms include: mood swings, irritability, insomnia, impatience, crying or feeling weepy for no apparent reason. Many new parents are confused by the blues and think, "I should be happy, at this joyous time in my life? What's going on?" Considering the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy, the physical and hormonal changes and the transition to parenthood, having the baby blues seems almost inevitable. Baby blues last a few days to a couple of weeks and begin to lessen as parents and baby adjust, and find a rhythm to life together.

But what happens when symptoms persists and sadness intensifies? Postpartum depression is a more severe form of baby blues that can be debilitating for both moms and dads. Postpartum depression is not a weakness or a flaw, it is a common form of depression that is brought on by the birth of a child and is treatable when recognized.

Talking about your feelings and letting friends and family offer support can be key to getting through the blues. When baby blues persist or you are struggling with postpartum depression, it is important to reach out for professional help and connect to local resources. Talk to your pediatrician or obstetrician to find out what's available in your area. We are fortunate to have experts right here at CHKD  and throughout Hampton Roads at Postpartum Support Virginia.

CHKD is offering FREE presentations for parents and professionals to learn about healthy brain development in infants and young children and take a critical look at the links between maternal depression and child neglect. For more information on our April 25th and 26th programs with Dr. Janice Gruendel, visit our parenting classes and resources page. Let's start the conversation about this important topic. Share your thoughts and comments below.

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About Michele Tryon, CCLS

About Michele  Tryon, CCLS Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator and parent educator has worked with children and families for 30 years, providing services in the hospital, home, school and community setting. Michele is a Certified Child Life Specialist, a Certified Positive Discipline™ parent educator, a nationally recognized trainer/consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs™ and co-author of The Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges©.