Postnatal depression should not be confused with ‘baby blues’, a term used to describe the bouts of weepiness many women experience around the third day after delivery. 'Baby blues' is a common type of depression, and it is the least severe. This is mostly due to the enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes your body goes through as you adapt to a non-pregnant state, and rarely lasts beyond a few days.
It is not surprising that after the ‘high’ of giving birth you may feel a little low. When this is combined with a lack of sleep, tender breasts and changing hormone levels as milk begins to be produced, and the physical discomforts of stitches and bruising, many women feel down and find themselves weeping on the third or fourth day after the baby is born. The treatment for these temporary blues is plenty of support and love, along with as much rest as you can get; then they should soon pass.
Although most women rapidly get over the blues, a few go on to develop more serious postnatal depression.
The Association for Postnatal Illness www.apni.org) is an organisation specifically run to help women with postnatal blues and depression. As well as offering advice, sympathy and information covering all aspects of PND, it can also arrange one-to-one support from its network of volunteer counsellors across the UK.
If you're worried, talk to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP as soon as possible.