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Beyond the baby blues: What every woman should know about postpartum depression

Health

The baby blues are feelings of sadness that can begin in the first few days after a baby’s born.  

A new mom might feel happy one minute, then sad and tearful the next, completely overwhelmed or uninterested in the baby.

These mood changes are jump-started by natural shifts in your hormones immediately after a baby is born. Levels of estrogen and progesterone are very high during pregnancy, then drop suddenly after childbirth.

The hormones will head back to pre-pregnancy levels, and the sadness and mood changes will resolve. But in some women, it goes beyond simple baby blues to postpartum depression.

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Postpartum depression can start even before the birth, and can last up to a year afterward.

One in seven pregnant women are affected, and the best way to work on it is early screening.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that all pregnant women be asked about their mood and emotional well-being during pregnancy and especially after the baby is born. 

Every time a doctor checks on your baby, they should check on your feelings as well.

That way, they can work with a mom to start therapy and possible medication.

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