Why new mums cry?

Did you know that at least 70 percent of new mothers cry after delivering? Celebrity actress Konkona Sen Sharma admitted to it in an exclusive interview to zenparent.in when she said, “I used to cry all the time... maybe I was depressed.” Konkona is mum to 6 year old Haroon and knows what being sleep deprived can do to a new mother.

But do you?

Most mums do not admit to feeling really depressed after they’ve had their baby. They worry it makes them sound less happy or grateful about this miracle of life that they’ve been blessed with.

"I delivered in my mum’s house and my friends sent me messages asking me if I was feeling on top of the world because ‘maika’ plus baby equals bliss, right? Truth is I was constantly weeping. There was an enormous sense of guilt and shame for feeling so utterly sad, when the world had been served on my platter!" recalls a friend who felt convinced that she had what we call ‘post partum depression.’

But she didn’t. She had the baby blues.

What are baby blues?

Baby blues is a stage where- about a week after having the baby, the new mom feels weepy and teary most of the time. Sometimes it’s the anxiety of having to take care of the new born, other times just the lack of sleep and rest make the mum get anxious.

Why does this happen?

Purely physiological! The levels of the hormones (estrogens and progesterone) that are extremely high during pregnancy – more elevated than they ever will be at any other point in time in a woman's life—and after delivery of the baby and the placenta, they plummet. They simply drop unceremoniously and trigger a neurobiological process that we simply call ‘the baby blues.’

Here’ what you’ll be feeling if you have the baby blues:

1. You feel weepy and vulnerable. You think you are crazy for crying at the drop of the hat yet can’t seem to control this torrent of tears.

2. Your experience lasts between two weeks to a month after giving birth.

3. You also might experience mood instability, depressed mood, sadness, irritability, anxiety, lack of concentration and/or feelings of dependency.

A good way to heal these blues would be to ask friends or family to help in minding the baby. Often a good night’s rest can cure more than we know.

Whereas the symptoms of Postpartum Depression are markedly different.

1. Your symptoms last longer than one month after giving birth, are much more severe than baby blues symptoms and interfere with normal everyday functioning.

2. The experience is much more confusing and leads to feelings of anxiety, sadness (crying a lot), depression, irritability and guilt.

Mums with this often display a lack of interest in the baby and have harmful thoughts that include hopelessness and sometimes even of harming the baby or yourself. A deep sense of inadequacy and worthlessness or fatigue and excessive worry about the baby's health are also associated with post partum depression.

3. Postpartum depression typically emerges over the first 2-3 months after childbirth but may occur at any point after delivery.

So mommies if your symptoms of anxiety and depression persist well after a month of the baby being born you must visit your ob-gyn for a better evaluation. Depending on their findings you may be referred to a specialist for psychotherapy, medication therapy, some combination or other types of treatment.

Let’s work towards removing the stigma around baby blues and post partum depression and work towards a society where we talk about solutions. For that we have to talk about the problems first, no?

Feature Image Source: cnn.com