Despite the stigmas that exist, the postpartum period isn't always filled with bliss. In what is typically thought to be the happiest time of a mother's life, many moms suffer from less than happy feelings, ranging anywhere from the standard "baby blues" to clinical depression. That's because, more often than not, this phase is filled with exhaustion, change, and lots of hormones, which can make life after baby particularly hard to adjust to. But just how do normal postpartum hormones differ from postpartum anxiety (PPA)? It's not exactly a fine line, and the differences between the two are actually pretty pronounced.
Although normal postpartum hormones are easily diagnosed at home (and more often than not, a diagnosis isn't even required,) the symptoms of PPA are often shrugged off as "normal" and left without a diagnosis.
Baby Blues are, more or less, experienced by about 70 to 80 percent of new mom out there, according to the American Pregnancy Association. A feeling of occasional sadness, mood swings, irritability, trouble sleeping and more, are, according to Mayo Clinic, totally normal. On the other hand, the symptoms of postpartum anxiety, though there may be a few commonalities, are usually more severe and last much longer than normal postpartum hormones.
If you're on the fence about whether your experience is simply normal post-baby hormones or something more serious, these signs will help clear things up.