Difference between baby blues and postpartum depression

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Dr. Shoshana Bennett, PhD. discusses the difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues based on two key indicators, and how to tell if your symptoms of anxiety and depression are in need of postpartum depression treatment.
Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression
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Difference between baby blues and postpartum depression

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Often women call me and they say Dr. Shosh, I don´t know if what I am going through is normal or I´ve crossed the line and I really need some help. Can you tell me what´s normal and what´s not postpartum? So what I explain is that there are two main differences to the very normal baby blues, which is not considered a disorder, and postpartum depression, which is considered a disorder. One of the major differences is the severity of the symptoms. With the baby blues, even though they don´t feel good, they are mild and they don´t get in the way of a woman´s daily functioning. It doesn´t get in the way of her sleep and shouldn´t get in the way of her appetite. And she is generally feeling like herself. Maybe a bit of overwhelm, maybe teary, maybe she is bursting into tears at a dog food commercial and she has no idea. That´s very, very normal. The other way you tell the difference is by the duration of the symptoms, how long they last, because if the baby blues goes past two or at the outset three weeks, we now call it postpartum depression even if it is mild. So with postpartum depression, which can happen immediately and overlap the baby blues period, if those symptoms are severe enough to get in the way, if the anxiety or the sadness or the hopelessness or the guilt feelings or whatever the symptoms might be get in the way of her functioning, she needs help. And she should not wait until that two weeks is over. And it doesn´t necessarily go away by itself. So this is something that tends to persist until she gets the right treatment.

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Dr. Shoshana Bennett, PhD. discusses the difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues based on two key indicators, and how to tell if your symptoms of anxiety and depression are in need of postpartum depression treatment.

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Shoshana Bennett, PhD

Clinical Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist

Shoshana Bennett, PhD (“Dr. Shosh”) from the popular DrShosh.com Radio Show is the author of Pregnant on Prozac, Postpartum Depression For Dummies, and co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.  She is also the creator of the new mobile app PPD Gone.  National TV shows including  20/20, Discovery Channel, The Doctors and The Ricki Lake Show feature Dr. Shosh as the pregnancy and postpartum mood expert and news stations such as CNN consult her. Several publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News have written articles on Dr. Shosh’s work.  She’s interviewed regularly on national radio and has been quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, Boston Globe, Fit Pregnancy, Glamour, Parenting, Psychology Today, New York Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, and the Chicago Tribune. 

Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field.  She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. She has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars.  As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a PhD and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.

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