Are ‘the blues’ and postnatal depression the same?

The majority of new mothers have ‘baby blues’ after the birth. It is normal to cry, feel overwhelmed or anxious, sad, angry and nervous. Some mothers describe feeling like they’re on a roller coaster, having mood swings. Usually, this clears up within two weeks or so.

However, postnatal depression is somewhat worse than the blues and lasts a lot longer. The depression can start anytime during the pregnancy, soon after the birth or anytime up until the baby is a year old. Postnatal depression can be caused by physical changes in your body because of pregnancy and childbirth. It can happen to anyone and it is not your fault. Your GP, health visitor and midwife want to help you – no-one will take your baby away from you. If your mood is so low, you feel you cannot take care of yourself or your child, or have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby – you likely have postnatal depression and should seek help immediately.