Help! I've Got the Baby Blues - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Help! I've Got the Baby Blues

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Have you ever heard of the baby blues? According to medical research, many new moms experience this brief bout of depression, but 10 to 20 percent of new moms will experience a more severe form called postpartum. My wife Laura Patton has dealt with these issues and says with help you can overcome them.

She just gave birth to our third child about four weeks ago and yes it's been challenging to say the least. Laura admits she dealt with mild postpartum depression with our first child.  She says this time it's gotten close. When you have a newborn crying and our 3 year old throwing a 30 minute temper tantrum a the same time, those are the moments when have to work hard to keep it together.

"Our 3 and a half-year-old has been displaying some signs of jealousy especially at night when she starts getting a little tired. If I’m paying to much attention to the baby she will pretty much act up and throw a huge temper tantrum . . .I'm just wondering how am I going to get through this night", says Laura.  

Family therapist, Dr. Kathleen Rhodes of The Center for Families located in Shreveport,ran down a short list of warning signs.

*Tearfulness, a feeling of being overwhelmed.

*The inability to manage tasks that previously they handled with no problem at all.

*Changes in sleep patterns and changes in diet.

She says the baby blues and postpartum should never be ignored, especially extreme postpartum psychosis which can be deadly.

She said the worst-case scenario she has ever heard about was the infamous Andrea Yates case in Houston, Texas.

Yates drowned her 4 boys and infant girl in a bathtub in 2001. She was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis a rare form of postpartum, according to medical research.

Dr. Rhodes says the best thing to do to keep postpartum from running your life is to be pro-active even if you think everything is fine.

Her recommendation for mothers and families:

*Seek physical help and support from family, church and friends.

*Realize it’s OK to let some household chores wait.

Laura says re-prioritizing her time really helps.
"If there is a pile of laundry that has not been folded for three days, I try not to let it bother me anymore; because if I did I would always be miserable", says Laura.

Dr. Rhodes says another thing new moms should do is find someone you can talk to about your problems. In some cases that might be a family member, a pastor or a licensed counselor.

When it comes to other children who may think they are getting less attention from mom, Rhodes gives this advice:

*Allow siblings to help with the new baby and praise them for their efforts.

Moms aren't the only ones dealing with the baby blues or postpartum. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, new research says 1 in 10 new fathers may also experience postpartum depression. 

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