Postpartum Depression 101: The Practical Side

Babies, marriage, leaving for college, buying your first home—whatever celebratory occasion it may be—people rarely tell you that there is stress involved in these momentous occasions. Sure, they may tell you that planning a wedding is costly or that staying up all night with a new baby is exhausting, but people rarely tell you about the really hard and often isolating experiences major life transitions can bring. It may be because their “highlight moments” were not as hard or it might be because they don’t want to discourage you, but most people do not talk about the dark moments that came their way during what “should have been” their happiest moments.  (I say “should have been” because books, movies and television often portray how things should be when their stories are just that—stories—and not reality).

Having a baby is beautiful, exciting, exhausting, scary and dozens of other emotions combined. What most people do not share is that having a baby can also lead to depression. There is a difference between “baby blues” and “postpartum depression.” The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org ) states that baby blues last a few days to a couple of weeks and include symptoms such as:

Mood swings




Trouble eating/sleeping/concentrating

Postpartum depression may begin during pregnancy and last for up to one year after the baby is born.  Symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to the “baby blues” but more severe and may include:


Trouble bonding with baby

Overwhelming fatigue

Trouble eating/sleeping

Anxiety/panic attacks

Feeling hopeless/helpless/inadequate

Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

I will speak more about baby blues and postpartum depression in the personal blog on this piece, but for now if you or are someone you care about is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above without relief, please call to speak to one of our seasoned therapists. At Life Enhancement Counseling Services we can help you cope and thrive during new and challenging seasons. Call us today at 407-443-8862.


Yolanda Brailey