Hormone changes are not a thing of the past once you bring the baby home. It's not uncommon to feel blue, let down, discouraged and unprepared to the task ahead of you. That new beginning you were so enthusiastic about nine months ago may suddenly seem overwhelming. As if that weren't enough, the guilt of feeling unhappy with your lot may be making things even worse. After all, you have a beautiful baby, so what's the problem?
Very soon after delivery, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body start to drop back to normal. That precipitous drop can trigger depression in some women. So can the drop in thyroid hormones that sometimes occurs after delivery. (Thyroid issues can be diagnosed with a blood test and are easily treated.) A lack of sleep or a response to stressors like financial or marital issues can contribute to feelings of anxiety and sadness, too.
While some anxiety and depression are normal, if you find yourself becoming more depressed as the days stretch into weeks and months, consult your doctor. You may have postpartum depression. More pervasive than a temporary bout of the blues, postpartum depression can sap all the joy out of what should be an exciting and rewarding time. If you're having trouble coping, your doctor can help.