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Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth - Topic Overview

How does postpartum affect your emotions? continued...

Many women get the "baby blues" during the first few days after childbirth. The "baby blues" usually peak around the fourth day and then ease up in less than 2 weeks. If you have the blues for more than a few days, or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, call your doctor right away. You may have postpartum depression. This needs to be treated. Support groups and counseling can help. Sometimes medicine also can help.

For more information, see the topic Postpartum Depression.

What should you know about newborn care?

During your baby's first few weeks, you will spend most of your time feeding, diapering, and comforting your baby. You may feel overwhelmed at times. It's normal to wonder if you know what you are doing, especially if this is your first child. Newborn care gets easier with every day. Soon you may get to know what each cry means and be able to figure out what your baby needs and wants.

At first, babies often sleep during the day and are awake at night. They don't have a pattern or routine. They may make sudden gasps, jerk themselves awake, or look like they have crossed eyes. These are all normal, and they may even make you smile.

You naturally develop an emotional bond with your baby simply by spending time together, being physically close, and responding to his or her cues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about the postpartum period:

Special concerns:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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