Baby Blues – or Something More?

Feeling down once in a while is common—and normal—for new moms. A change of scene and fresh air can do wonders to dispel any “baby blues” you may be feeling from time to time, particularly in the early weeks with an infant.

Bright light, whether from a light-therapy box or from a walk in the morning sunshine, also has been shown to reduce depression symptoms in pregnant and postpartum women by 50%.

Having a baby is a huge change in life and can bring on many mixed emotions, including sadness, anger or anxiety, as well as joy and contentment. But be aware if you’re feeling more than that.

Postpartum depression affects an estimated 11% – 20% of mothers, but is treatable. If you feel overwhelmed by sadness or worry, or if you feel generally down for 2 weeks or more without relief, talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor can put you in touch with support and resources to help you feel better. A recent study suggests that children may be particularly sensitive to their mother’s depression during the first year of life, so it’s important to find the help you need.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline—1-833-943-5746 (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS)—offers free, confidential, 24/7 support and resources in English and Spanish for all pregnancy and postpartum mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. You can text or talk with mental health counselors at this hotline; it doesn’t replace your healthcare provider’s advice, but does provide additional help.

See also ...

•  More about postpartum depression 

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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