It’s very normal to have the baby blues for a week or so after the birth of your newborn. With the exhaustion from childbirth, around-the-clock feedings and hormonal shifts, it’s rare that a new mom doesn’t break down and cry for no good reason.
If the tears keep coming after a week or so, if you feel very depressed, sad or anxious, or if you think you might hurt yourself or the baby, this may be postpartum depression and you need to reach out for help. Sometimes women need professional counseling or antidepressant medication to deal with the stress.
Realize help is available and when addressed early, postpartum depression can be
treated successfully. Talk with your doctor about resources that are available.
Nurse Linda Ciampa on physical concerns
Bleeding can last up to six weeks after delivery but should never be very heavy. If it increases (you are having to change your pad every hour or notice large clots), call your obstetrician.
Following a normal, vaginal birth, schedule a postpartum checkup no later than six weeks
after delivery. With a Cesarean section, an incision check, usually at two weeks, is
recommended. Meantime, notify the physician if you have a fever, persistent diarrhea or
nausea – or if there is redness, swelling or discharge around the incision.
Sometimes women develop high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after
delivery. Call the doctor if you experience symptoms such as persistent headache, vision
changes, spots in front of the eyes, shortness of breath, upper-abdominal pain, mental
confusion or sudden weight gain.