Sadness or postpartum depression, what is the difference?

Bringing a child to the world is excellent news. The arrival of a new member in the home is synonymous with joy for parents, but in some cases the situation is reversed for some mothers. Hormonal changes and other factors mean that after birth, what should be joy is transformed into a feeling of sadness that occasionally ends up leading to depression.

However, there is a difference between the postpartum sadness and the depression. Identifying the symptoms of each case will allow you to initiate a correct treatment to end the situation. Erica Medina-Serdán, Clinical psychologist, difference between both situations and points out some of the risk factors that should be taken into account by expectant mothers during their pregnancy.


Postpartum sadness

Postpartum sadness, also known as Baby Blues, is described as an alteration of the mood caused, mainly, by hormonal, psychological and social changes. These alterations have a variable intensity. They appear, generally, between two and four days after the birth.

The symptoms are spontaneous relief after two to three weeks following the delivery, and do not require medical attention. In these cases, it is recommended that relatives close to the mother provide all their support and try to prevent this sadness from consuming the woman. At the same time, it is recommended that as the time of delivery approaches, there are no major changes that could precipitate this state of mind, an example is a move that moves the family away from their loved ones and makes the future believe Mom who will be alone.


Those mothers with antecedents in previous births should also be taken into account as cases of risk during their pregnancies and followed closely after delivery. Experts recommend that you constantly inform yourself of the symptom that they are appearing, like crying or moments of silence, and the intensity of them to assess to what extent they are talking about the Baby Blues and not a more serious problem.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is defined as a disorder which starts after the birth Until now the causes of it are unknown, however there are several causes of risk recognized by the medical community:


- Past history of psychopathology (especially depression and anxiety)

- Presence of psychological alterations during pregnancy

- Postpartum depression in previous pregnancies

- Complications during or after pregnancy

- Experience of stressful situations

- Economic difficulties after childbirth

The first step to detect it, especially in its beginnings is the perception of possible symptoms There are signs of alarm such as psychosomatic complaints, fatigue and sudden pain, multiple calls to ask for help, or it is observed that the woman is sad, worried or afraid to have her child in her arms. The presence of some of these signs and their prolongation in time will be reason to go to a psychologist who proposes a help treatment.

On the one hand, the treatment can be focused on several Sessions with the specialist where to receive the necessary help and an individual or group therapy. In cases where the symptoms are more severe or the intensity of the situation prevents a normal life will be chosen to prescribe medication to the woman to treat postpartum depression.

Damián Montero

Video: Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know


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