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Postpartum Blues

answered 07:29 PM EST, Wed January 02, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
My wife just gave birth to our daughter 6 days ago. She seems really depressed to me and she is crying a lot. I know this is kind of normal to be depressed after childbirth. She does not want to talk to anybody about what she is going through and she asked me not to tell my parents about it or anyone else. I do not know if I am supposed to be doing something more to help her or if I just need to give her some space and time to get through this on her own. This is our first child so I have no experience. Also, I am already back at work so I can’t be around to help as much as I want to. But since I am the only one working now, we don’t have much a choice about that.

Rachel Starck Says...

Congratulations on your new baby!  It sounds like your wife is experiencing what many women experience following childbirth.

It is normal to have some extreme mood fluctuations, depression, and anxiety as her hormones shift from pregnancy, labor and delivery, to postpartum levels.  That being said, I would keep talking to her about how she is feeling.  Many women feel that there is something wrong with them if they are not jumping for joy after having a baby, that they should be in a wonderful happy space, enjoying their newborn.  But reality is that sleep deprivation, stress of the adjustment, and as mentioned previously, fluctuating hormone levels can leave many new mothers tearful, depressed and irritable.  I would try to help her understand how normal her feelings are.  Talk to other dads, see a counselor yourself, perhaps find resources on postpartum depression for her to read.  Encourage her to talk to her doctor, other mom friends, or family.  

It may resolve itself, but if she has any thoughts of harming herself or the baby, or if she does not start feeling better in  a couple weeks, I would continue to encourage her to seek help from a counselor with experience in postpartum adjustment, offer to go with her, ask her what she needs!  It is not uncommon for women to seek therapy and/or medication to treat postpartum depression.  There is no need for her to suffer!

Best wishes,

Rachel Starck, LPC


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Page last updated Jan 18, 2013

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