The Arrival of a New Baby Can Bring a Whirlwind of Emotions
The postpartum period can be a whirlwind of emotions and new experiences. While the arrival of a new baby can be such a happy time, it is also a time of significant transition. We may have certain expectations of what life with baby will be like, only to find it is nothing like we expected. Some women find themselves struggling with guilt if they feel tired, overwhelmed, or even sad after the arrival of their new baby. This can be confusing and difficult to articulate to others, which can feel lonely.

Many Women Experience the Baby Blues
Because the arrival of a new baby is such a significant transition, many women experience the “baby blues.” The baby blues can occur within the first couple of weeks of delivery and affect 70%-80% of women, according to During this time, women may be weepy and feel irritable, as well as feel anxious and sad. It is unclear what exactly causes the baby blues, but it is likely due to hormonal fluctuations. Lack of sleep may also be a significant factor in the experience of baby blues.

For Some Women, the Baby Blues Can Lead to Postpartum Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 15% of women experience postpartum depression. Hormonal shifts, as well a lack of sleep can contribute to the symptoms of postpartum depression. Sadness and anxiety, as well as sleep disturbance (unrelated to the baby’s sleep schedule), are symptoms of postpartum depression. It is also possible women with postpartum depression may experience anger, may withdraw from friends and family, and may doubt her ability to care for the baby. It is important to keep in mind that postpartum depression may also range in severity, so some women may also have thoughts of harming herself or the baby. These symptoms can make it difficult to form a bond with the baby.

Things Can Get Better! Therapy is an Effective Treatment for Postpartum Depression
The postpartum period already feels busy and tiring at times, so any of the above experiences can certainly complicate the experience of a new baby for the mother. Feelings of shame and guilt for experiencing any of the above symptoms may prevent some women from sharing their experience with a loved one or seeking help from a healthcare professional. Talk therapy has shown to be beneficial in helping mothers to understand the thoughts and feelings they are experiencing, as well as to learn methods of coping in order to lessen the symptoms discussed above.