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Postnatal depression or Baby Blues?

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

What’s the difference between postnatal depression (PND) and the baby blues? Is it the same thing?

We get asked this a lot at The PEP Midwives, and one of the main things to know is that whether you are suffering from postnatal depression or the baby blues, neither has any reflection on how well you’re doing as a mother. It is simply an indication that transitioning to motherhood is hard. Fact!

So let’s break it down. Baby blues is very much a natural response to the change of hormones in your system following birth and generally tends to resolve itself naturally after a couple of weeks.

Feeling overwhelmed when you first have a baby, coupled with sleep deprivation and adapting to your new identity as a mother, is perfectly NORMAL. It is by no way, shape or form any indication of your ability to care for your newborn - simply a normal response to motherhood.

By contrast, postnatal depression symptoms can begin during pregnancy (known as perinatal depression) or following birth, and can persist for some time, getting in the way of your daily activities. Persistence and severity of symptoms are the main differences between baby blues and PND.

Around 1 in 5 women will experience either postnatal depression or anxiety following birth and it is way more common than we think. The good news is that PND is easily treated. The first step is recognising you need a bit of help to feel better and well again. So don’t feel embarrassed to get in touch with either your GP or Health visitor if you need to.

A lot of the key issues surrounding postnatal depression come from over-comparison (social media has a lot to answer for here) and social isolation. Human beings are naturally social creatures - we need to feel part of a tribe or like we belong, and it’s vital that we feel we have safe spaces within our community to feel cared for, unjudged and heard.

Want to join our friendly group of mums-to-be? Come to The PEP Midwives FREE Wellbeing Walk every Wednesday at 10.30am, starting at Linda Vista Gardens NP7 5DL. Or check out our website for more information about our products and services.

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