It is estimated that 50%-80% of all new mothers go through a phase which is described as post partum blues. The disorder is quite well known, but only recently has the magnitude of the problem been realized among health care professionals. Unlike post partum depression, post partum blues is much milder in the intensity of symptoms and is short lived.
Post partum blues typically presents several days after giving birth and lasts about 2 weeks. The symptoms appear and disappear without any premonition. The typical symptoms one may experience include:
- crying without reason
- mood swings which vary from sadness to loneliness
- difficulty sleeping
Post partum blues are said to occur because of the abrupt decline in levels of sex hormones after delivery. The symptoms may also be aggravated by the physical stress of a long pregnancy and childbirth. Postpartum blues is also more pronounced in women who develop anxiety over the responsibility of looking after the baby.
In general, there is no treatment required for postpartum blues; the disorder simply disappears on its own. However, in the mean time, it is essential that one eat healthy, exercise and join a social support group. A change in scenery or lifestyle may also help the recovery. For all women, if the symptoms of post partum blues persist beyond 2-3 weeks and interfere with your lifestyle or daily activities, it is important to see a health care professional.
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Shamir Benji has a post graduate degree in the health sciences and has been writing for more than 10 years. He has worked as a health care professional in many countries and now is a full time writer.