You have just had a baby and you might be wondering, why don't I feel normal? You might also be feeling anxious or fearful. Just like joy, happiness and love for your baby, feelings of guilt, sadness, fear and stress are all normal. None of these feelings are inherently bad, but they can be intrusive and hard to manage.
We want you to know that no matter what you are feeling, it is a valid feeling. We hear you and we have been there. There are variations of normal in postpartum, just like in pregnancy. The majority of women, 40-80% will experience mood changes or "postpartum baby blues" during postpartum. This is a very big transition for your family and your chemical makeup is changing as the hormones that were made by the placenta during pregnancy are now being replaced. If the feelings of depression, sadness, fear or anxiety continue past the first two weeks postpartum or arise anywhere in the first year postpartum, it is likely postpartum depression and not just baby blues.
A common question we hear is, how do I know if I have postpartum depression? If you are no longer enjoying things you once did and your negative feelings are interfering with your daily life and making it hard to care for yourself or your baby, you might have postpartum depression or anxiety. Your best resource if you or your loved ones think you might have postpartum depression is your doctor or midwife. They will be able to help you and to create a treatment plan best suited for you.
At Attuned Doula Services, our doulas are trained in normal postpartum and can identify things that might need the help of your doctor or more specialized care. Your doula can talk with you about what is normal for you and what your new normal with the baby looks like. She can refer you to doctors, therapists and other support people in your community. Know that we are in this with you and can offer judgment-free support you as you navigate all of the feelings that come with being a new or even a seasoned parent with a baby.