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The postpartum period begins right after the birth of a baby. During this time, there is often joy and excitement. It is also a time of many changes in the life of the parents. A mother may feel happy one minute and sad or stressed the next. These feelings of sadness, called the baby blues, usually happen in the period right after the baby is born and go away within a week or two.
The exact cause of this condition is not known. Changes in hormone levels after childbirth are believed to trigger some of the symptoms.
If these symptoms last for more than 2 weeks or become more severe, you may have postpartum depression.
This condition is diagnosed based on an evaluation of your symptoms. Your health care provider may use a screening tool that includes a list of questions to help identify a person with the baby blues or postpartum depression.
The baby blues usually go away on their own in 1–2 weeks. Social support is often what is needed. You will be encouraged to get adequate sleep and rest.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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