Baby Blues or postpartum depression? - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Baby Blues or postpartum depression?

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According to nurse midwife Tiffany Stensvad of St. Vincent Healthcare, 1 in 7 mothers experience postpartum depression.

How do you know if you're experiencing the baby blues or of something more severe?

Stensvad says symptoms can range anywhere from fatigue, insomnia or loss of appetite. The first clue in recognizing postpartum depression is if your symptoms last more than two weeks. 

While some studies say women who give birth in the spring or winter are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression, Stensvad says that's not necessarily true. 

"It doesn't matter what time of year. They think it has to do with the serotonin in your brain and some of those things," Stensvad said. "In Montana though, we all suffer from a lack of vitamin D, so that will affect your mood, absolutely."

Stensvad wants new mothers to know postpartum depression is fairly common and encourages women to talk to their doctors if they believe they are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.

"Right now there's a stigma with any kind of depression, and so I want women to know it's very normal and to seek help. It's not normal and it's not okay for you to feel terrible when you're thinking in your head, 'Oh, I should be so happy," Stensvad adds. "'I have this new baby at home and it's not.' People are scared to say that out loud."

Stensvad also says treatment for postpartum depression doesn't always mean medication, but rather talking to your healthcare provider about what works for you, which can include simple things like outdoor activities or spending time with a friend. 

Click here to learn more and find resources for helping with postpartum depression. Postpartum isn't restricted to biological mothers, either; it's also experienced by fathers and adoptive parents as well.

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