Baby Blues are for REAL. And so is Postpartum Depression.
Breastfeeding has never been easy for Camelia. With baby #3, she had a goal to breastfeed for six months. Being a 36 year old attorney, mother to two, pet mom to two and wife, she knew the real deal that came with parenting a newborn. Yet she was still surprised by just how painful it was for her to feed a baby. Exhaustion set in and so did the ‘baby blues’. She was close to seeking medical advice, as her husband suggested, and hopes that any mom who does get to that point WILL seek the help they need. “Formula saved my life”, Camelia admits, and hopes that other moms will consider the same path if/when needed. We chatted with OBGYN and Bobbie Medical Advisor Jane Van Dis about recognizing when the baby blues become postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding is literally the most painful thing-aside from childbirth-that I have experienced!Camelia
Dr Jane: I typically tell my patients- ‘Don’t stress over planning out the next 6 months of feeding right now. Set short goals and reassess after a couple of days, or a week. Promise yourself only that you’ll do your best, and then give yourself permission to change your mind and/or plans regarding breastfeeding.’
I personally set weekly goals. I had twins and was a combination breastmilk and formula feeder. At 3 weeks I didn’t set a goal of 2 months or 6 months, I set a goal of reassessing my desire to breastfeed each week. I made it to 5 months and I was ecstatic I made it that far!
Baby blues are real.Camelia
Dr Jane:There are countless reasons women feel anxious, especially around the topic of breastfeeding. The addition of returning to work – whether at 2 weeks (as 25% of U.S. women do) or at 5 months – and breastfeeding causes women a lot of stress.
Pay attention to that stress. It can be hard to know when baby blues becomes post-partum depression. I typically tell my new moms and their partners to be on the lookout for some key signs of postpartum depression.
Signs of postpartum depression include:
Losing interest in the infant
Crying excessively throughout the day and/or night
Loss of appetite
Feeling unable to sleep or sleeping in excess
Thoughts of self harm or harm to others
All of these are signs that you need to seek medical attention right away. If you can’t be seen by your practitioner immediately, avail yourself of a telehealth visit to start the process of evaluation and treatment by medical professionals. Talk therapy can be helpful, but women with PPD and/or severe anxiety may benefit from medication and talk therapy.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Camelia’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘When Breastfeeding Sucks’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > When Breastfeeding Sucks. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.