“Baby Blues.” “Depressed.” “Sad.” These are all ways to describe postpartum depression, which can kick in about five days after a newborn’s delivery, and usually goes away after two weeks. For some mothers (and dads!), postpartum depression is much more serious and treatment is needed. A new mother with postpartum depression will often feel sad, guilty, worthless and take no interest in her new baby. These moms feel shamed for feeling this way, and are too embarrassed to seek help. As a result, postpartum depression can be overlooked.
A 2006 study done by Brown University shows that it is vital for mothers who have the baby blues get professional help. Why? The study says there can be a link between a mother’s depression and a colicky baby. The study, which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and is run by the state of Rhode Island, consists of a survey titled “Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.” The idea behind it is to help prevent infant mortality and ask about health and environmental factors in the baby’s household that may impact his, as well as the mother’s, health. The survey had already asked about depression, but in 2006 a new question was asked, “How inconsolable is your baby?” From these answers, it was determined that those mothers who were depressed also commented that their baby was very inconsolable, or, colicky.