baby's arrival brings a flurry of emotions. Excitement, joy, stress, and
exhaustion are just a few. Sadness and depression are also common responses.
It's not surprising. You probably aren’t getting enough sleep and have lots of
Some feelings of depression and worry—the baby blues—are
normal. But if they last more than 2 weeks, they could be postpartum
depression. Nearly 1 in 9 women suffer from postpartum depression. Know that it
is not something a woman can just control. It is not a sign of being a bad
Turn to BestBeginnings for even more trusted information just like
this on anxiety and depression from clinical sources approved by doctors. The
Learn Library in the app has hundreds of articles for all pregnancy symptoms,
with specific sections just about mental and emotional health, with
recommendations and resources if you are feeling depressed.
The feelings surrounding motherhood are complex. Society
expects you to feel instant joy over a new baby, when you may actually feel
exhausted, stressed, insecure, helpless, or guilty for feeling anything less
Having a baby gives anybody a lot to worry about. If you
feel very anxious now, to the point where it affects your mood and ability to
enjoy life, or you have panic attacks, don't ignore those feelings.
Stress can be a large part of becoming a new parent. Even
though most moms have harmless levels of daily stress, a little TLC is a good
thing. You can't always change what causes your stress, but you can change how
- List your top stressors; brainstorm with your
partner, a friend, or your doctor about how to help ease them.
- Keep active in ways your doctor okays. You'll
sleep and feel better.
- Call a friend who will let you vent.
- Take a parenting class so you know what to
expect. You can use the breathing exercises you learned in childbirth class to
quiet stress now.
- Find ways to calm your stress (baths, walks,
naps) instead of using food, smoking, or drinks like alcohol and coffee.
- If you feel overwhelmed or depressed, tell your
doctor or someone else who can help. You don't have to feel alone.
The BestBeginnings app even has a meditation and centering tool – Baby Boost. It
reminds you to take 20 seconds to think positive thoughts for you and baby. And
with any questions you might have – about anything – add those questions to the
app’s QList to help you remember to talk to your doctor about it.
Premera Blue Cross also offers mental health counseling in-person or from telehealth providers.
Therapy is an effective treatment for perinatal or
postpartum depression. However, many women don't seek help, for fear of being
judged, or of losing their freedom, their privacy, or even their child. Or they
hope that by ignoring the issue, it will go away. But it's important to get
help—don't suffer alone.
More resources for new parents
Postpartum Support International has a hotline for parents
experiencing postpartum depression. Call Postpartum Support International
1-800-944-4773 for more information.
If you have been having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please call your local emergency hotline (request a CIT-trained
officer), or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at National Suicide
Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.