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Child Health Chat, Issue #012 -- Baby Blues
April 28, 2013

Striving For A Happy Childhood


Happy Mothers’ Day!.

Being a mother is a roller coaster ride that starts as soon as the baby arrives. Meeting the newborn’s demands through emotional upheaval, the new mothers have it the toughest.

Yes, Baby Blues are medically acknowledged real mood swings.
Family support and in time of need timely medical intervention can prevent its long term ill effects on the mother’s psyche, the baby’s development and family happiness. Continue reading ……

The article of the month: Baby Blues

Be forearmed.
And enjoy motherhood!!!

Table of Contents


Baby Blues

Jaundice in Newborns

Child Health News

Mothers Who Drink Alcohol Beware

Obesity in Mothers

Pearls From The Forums

Ankle Twitching

Conceiving after Abortion

Important Links and Need to Know Information

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Baby Blues

Baby blues are often talked about lightly with lots of puns and fun weaved around disturbed emotional state of new mothers. Several cartoon strips and comic series have emerged on the theme. Consequently most young women shy off from reliving their suffering and thereby from seeking help. As a result, what follows is emotional disharmony, confusion and stress in parenting newborn.

The bundle of joy would bring in so much of turmoil, is never thought of.

Though baby blues are medically acknowledged genuine mood swings experienced by almost all women within a week of childbirth, most couples go through the pregnancy totally heedless about them. And wonder why their joy of having the baby is masked by depression.

Pre-menstrual mood swings secondary to fluctuation of sex hormones, serotonin activity in brain along with beta endorphin levels are well known; same is true for baby blues.

The neurotransmitters of expectant mother’s brain undergo major changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Studies show that abrupt depletion of these catecholamines and serotonin levels noted after childbirth could attribute to behavioral changes in new mothers. Post childbirth ineffective fragmented sleep further adds to mother’s unstable emotional state, which not only leaves the new mother exhausted, but also jeopardizes the newborn’ development and the father’s parenting.

New mother’s moods swing from mild elation to depression with spectra of ambivalence and confusion leading to irritability and tearfulness.

Only 15% of baby blues progress into postpartum depression. The risk factors that are known to intensify baby blues and lead to clinical postpartum depression are:

• Anxious personality

Stressful life events and daily hassles

History of depression

• Lack of partner support

Socioeconomic stress in the family

• Domestic disharmony or violence

Unintended pregnancy

• Childbirth during winter months.
Seasonal mood swings during winter months are common, particularly in women of childbearing age. Therefore, women who deliver during October, November and December months are prone to more severe baby blues that may persist for longer duration too.

• Compromised childbirth outcome
Newborn baby’s ill health or complication of childbirth in the mother also aggravate emotional imbalance of new parents.

Forewarned is forearmed

Prevailing lack of awareness on reality of postpartum depression hinders timely intervention. If the new parents can ventilate their blues without the fear of being ridiculed, it helps overcoming the negative mood swings and disperses the tensions. It also gives an opportunity to screen for risk factors associated with baby blues during the last three months of pregnancy and prevent perpetuating depression that would demand medical intervention. Moreover, women known to have the risk factors would then seek preconceptional help for their emotional stress.

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Jaundice in Newborns

Parents’ awareness on jaundice in newborns is crucial. Awareness of warning symptoms and signs helps prevent brain injury of the neonate by early diagnosis, diligent follow up, meticulous monitoring and prompt treatment.
Continue reading....

News on Child Health

Mothers Who Drink Alcohol Beware
Incidence of sudden infant deaths (SIDS) is several folds higher in babies of mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy or during first year of childbirth.
Must read!!!

Obesity in Mothers
Mothers’ pre pregnancy weight could be an important criteria to determine their children’s learning abilities during middle childhood years.
Find your answer here.

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Pearls From The Forums

Ankle Twitching
The cut out limit of 3 months for normal and abnormal Jitteriness in Newborns is a safe limit recommended to avoid delay in optimal medical attention in an abnormal case.
Read to find what differentiates normal from abnormal twitching

Conceiving after Abortion
How early is it safe to get pregnant again after an abortion in view of having a healthy baby?
To find your answer
click here

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I will be back soon with the next issue of "Child Health Chat".
Relax and enjoy being with children!

With Best Regards,

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